Boscola, Browne and Samuelson Announce $13.6 Million in State Funding for Redevelopment Projects in City of Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, Oct. 26 – State Senators Lisa Boscola and Pat Browne and State Representative Steve Samuelson today announced $13,600,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding to three redevelopment projects in the City of Bethlehem: The ArtsQuest Turn and Grind Shop, the Steel General Office Building, and the Machine Shop at Lehigh Heavy Forge.

"These state dollars will bring critical financial investment to economic and community development projects that are important to our region,” Senator Lisa Boscola stated.  “By partnering on these economic and community development projects, we are helping make them a reality and improving our local economy.”

“Through bi-partisan co-operation among my colleagues from both chambers in the Lehigh Valley delegation and Governor Wolf on these joint priorities, we were able to make this critical funding a reality,” Boscola stated.  “The Lehigh Valley delegation recognizes the importance of these redevelopment and community projects such as these in our urban cores to promote economic growth and improve our communities.”

“I am proud to work with my colleagues and the Governor to secure funding for these critical Lehigh Valley projects,” Senator Browne said. “By investing in these important arts and economic development initiatives, we continue to build the tremendous quality of life that the Lehigh Valley community is known for nationwide.”

“The redevelopment of the Turn and Grind Shop is a significant addition to the ArtsQuest campus and will allow for additional programming, community events and entertainment options,” stated Representative Steve Samuelson. “And, Lehigh Heavy Forge plays such a critical role in our nation’s national defense that to be able to further invest in it will provide greater security for our country and more jobs to the Lehigh Valley.”

The following projects/beneficiaries being awarded RACP funding are:

  • ArtsQuest Turn and Grind Shop, ArtsQuest, City of Bethlehem ($7,000,000);
  • Selective Demo and Abatement of Steel General Office Bldg, Peron Development, City of Bethlehem ($5,500,000);
  • LHF Machine Shop Upenders, Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation, City of Bethlehem ($1,100,000).

The ArtsQuest Turn and Grind Shop Project is an adaptive reuse of the abandoned Bethlehem Steel Corporation plant. The central core of the building will remain open and unobstructed to support flexible use in programming entertainment, cultural attractions science and kindred displays along with other experiential programming and community events.

The Selective Demo and Abatement of the Steel General Office Building project addresses environmental concerns at the project site that must be addressed.  RACP funding is for the demolition and abatement of portions of the SGO building.

Lehigh Heavy Forge, which is critical supplier of ultra-large, forged components essential to our country’s national defense, will use the grant for its Machine Shop Upenders project.  The project will allow Lehigh Heavy Forge to install new foundations for each upender and install the new equipment atop these foundations. Each upender will bring enhanced safety, more cost efficient manufacturing and more jobs to the site.

The RACP (Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program) is used for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects. Qualifying projects have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, help create or maintain jobs, and generate economic activity.