Southside: Task force shares Tale of Two Buildings
Chaired by Roger Hudak, the Feb. 28. meeting of the Mayor’s South Side Task Force at Northampton Community College’s E. Third St. campus brought good news for Bethlehem south of the Lehigh River regarding two historic buildings.
Hudak, who also volunteers for the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission, related the progress the city is making regarding the blighted Goodman Building as “Spectacular!” At a BHCC meeting the previous evening, city officials said they are utilizing the PA Conservator Act to gain “custody of the property” from the reluctant owner. If successful, this will allow the city to step in and bring the property into compliance, then the city will place liens on it for the costs of stabilizing the structure and bringing it up to code.
Adrienne Washington, from the Community & Regional Affairs office at Lehigh University, announced that 202 W. Fourth St., owned by Lehigh University, has a new tenant, Barreform. The fitness studio now occupies the building that was the former home of 48 Hours Video.
Washington reported that the annual Spring Southside Cleanup will be held April 8 from 10 a.m. until noon at Campus Square, recently renamed “Farrington Square,” with breakfast provided at 9 a.m. She also said that the Spring Fling Carnival is scheduled for April 1 and the Great South Side Sale will be held June 3.
Kate Cohen, director of development & communications New Bethany Ministries, announced their Spring Hunger Campaign launches March 20 and a family-friendly golf tournament fundraiser is scheduled for June 3 at Putt U. Cohen mentioned they have been assisting more low-income families in landlord/tenant situations. She cited the lack of affordable housing stock in the South Side is becoming problematic.
Estefania Perdomo, representing Community Action Development Corporation of Bethlehem (CADCB), spoke about the success of their “Start Your Business” classes for entrepreneurs of low or moderate means. They currently have 28 participants in the program. She reported that CADCB is continuing façade work on the 400-500 block of Hayes St. which is to include a mural. Perdomo said that the organization is also becoming involved as a housing advocacy resource. She added that a “Know Your Rights” workshop will be held the fourth Thursday of every month at the Bethlehem Public Library on Church St. beginning March 23.
The Mayor’s South Side Task Force meets regularly on the last Tuesday of the month.