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Redevelopment Efforts Expanding in the Lehigh Valley

By Andrew Kleiner on October 14, 2014

Highlighted by recent national media coverage, the redevelopment of center city Allentown has now spurred a more local analysis in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. The article takes an in-depth look at the ways the NIZ spurred developments in Allentown could become a blueprint for similar projects in other cities that are looking to bring their urban corridors back to productive life.

In the Lehigh Valley, the revitalization of the urban corridors of Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton has been and will continue to be a defining chapter of regional economic development. It is the efforts of LVEDC in partnership with our public and private sector partners that has allowed our region to craft the blueprint of development cited in that Inquirer article.

The redevelopment effort outside of our cities is another major part of our region’s revitalization. The Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), LVEDC’s major redevelopment program, has spearheaded projects to bring a new YMCA to life on the site of a former railroad repair shop. In addition, LVLRI is partnering with the Green Knight Economic Development Corporation to repurpose the site of a tire pyrolysis operation into a new industrial park.

With the blueprint of redevelopment continually expanding across the Valley with such projects, focus can now be drawn to the Borough of Catasauqua. Since 2005, LVLRI has been working with its municipal partners in Catasauqua to redevelop the former FL Smidth site. The site encompasses 14 acres alongside the Lehigh River in the business district of the town.  The currently vacant area was once an industrial hub of activity in the Lehigh Valley.

The Borough has rebranded this site as “Ironworks” and a plan for a new and revitalized development at this site has been drafted. On November 8th 2014, The Borough will be holding a kickoff event at the Ironworks that is open to the public from 6-10 p.m. and will feature bands, food trucks, and a chance for people to see the potential of the redevelopment of this property. Read about the event here.

The Lehigh Valley is continuing to blossom with new development. This story is rooted in all 62 municipalities as is evident by the success stories and active projects in the Slate Belt and beyond. Catasauqua’s vision for their redevelopment is just another chapter in this story and LVEDC is proud to continue to push the story forward. ?

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