- Posted September 6, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Evenings in America
SteelStacks, Bethlehem, pA
The Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks is being physically developed at the center of a revitalization project known as "SteelStacks," located on the former Bethlehem Steel property. This property has been abandoned for 15 years. The Bethlehem Steel Plant in Bethlehem, PA incorporated 1600 acres, one-fifth of the land mass of the City. In October, 1995, the plant was closed by Bethlehem Steel, which in turn declared bankruptcy in 2002. The decaying plant was a symbol of a city that had lost its major economic engine, along with much of its civic pride. Over 1,400 acres of the plant was sold off to industrial developers, including the non-profit Lehigh Valley Industrial Park. The125 acres of the plant in the center of the city, with the most iconic structures, including the Bessemer blast furnaces, blower house and corporate offices, is under redevelopment as a cultural and tourism destination.
The site represents the largest Brownfield site in the United States under redevelopment at this time. The 1600 acre plant has essentially been divided into three sections. Two sections closest to the I-78 interchange are being developed for commercial and industrial purposes by two separate organizations: Lehigh Valley Industrial Park (a non-profit leader in job creation since the 1960's) and Majestic, a Los Angeles based organization that has taken 600 acres for commercial development. The SteelStacks project is part of the 125 acre area which is part of the downtown area of south Bethlehem (Southside), closest to the residential neighborhoods. This area, known as "BethWorks" is divided into two sections. The eastern section has been developed by Las Vegas Sands Corporation as a casino, hotel, retail and resort complex. The western section and location of the SteelStacks campus, is approximately one mile from the casino, and immediately adjacent to the residential and retail districts. It is intended to be a mixed use development for residential, retail, entertainment and culture. Art center for music and shows (Arts Quest) is already open, and TV station 69 resided. The City of Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation have been highly engaged in the overall creation of this development scheme.
It is amazing place and daily, during the summer there is free music and different bands performances. The yearly MusicFest, and Musikfest Cafe also being held