50-unit apartment complex proposed
A newly formed development company has announced plans to develop the first multi-family market rate housing project in Bethlehem’s Historic District in over 30 years. Jeffrey Parks, Dennis Benner, Garrett Benner and Brandon Benner are the owners of Skyline West LLC, the developer of a proposed 50-unit luxury apartment building to be located at 143 West Broad St., one block from Main Street. The building is proposed to be erected on the eastern slope of a ridge between the Monocacy Valley and Pennsylvania Route 378. Each apartment will have a balcony with a view of the Monocacy Valley and South Mountain.
“PennDOT created this hillside peninsula when the four-lane highway was constructed in the 1960s,” Parks said. “Our goal is to attract residents who are accustomed to more contemporary amenities and will support the retail stores, restaurants, professionals and nonprofits in the downtown.”
Skyline West amenities will include onsite parking, washer and dryer in each apartment, modern kitchens with gas stovetops, pet friendly environment with a pet washing area, fitness center, community room with outdoor deck, bicycle rack and a package-receiving system.
The Skyline West team intends to maintain as much of the native plantings on the steep hillside as possible, as it is critical to the character of the project.
“The natural environment of the hillside is a paramount issue for us, both for the residents of the building and those who will see the hillside from the Monocacy Valley,” Parks said.
With the sloping hillside and limited level land, the construction of the project has been described by the construction manager as “putting a ship in a bottle.”
The Skyline West project includes two properties, 143 W. Broad St., which was purchased by the company in 2017, and a hillside parcel of 1.3 acres that is owned by the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority. The company has requested that the RDA sell the land, which extends from Conestoga Street adjacent to the Monocacy Creek to the top of the hill. After appraisals, the RDA is considering an agreement to sell the property for for $30,000 based on the development plan being proposed. The proposed agreement of sale was on the agenda for the RDA’s June 18 meeting. The sale is subject the developer obtaining all necessary city approvals and moving forward with the project.