Two complicated projects to implement – Times News Online

Posted on 05 October 2021 at 13:33

Approvals from the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission pushed forward two complicated projects during the commission’s in-person meeting, but obscured the September 20 meeting.

Architect Michael Metzger represented the ambitious project at 30-32 E. Third St. Previous phases of the rehabilitation of the Goodman Building have been successful since 2017, including stabilizing the deteriorated structure, installing a new roof and mold removal.

Metzger was awarded a Certificate of Suitability for his updated plans for the old structure and the proposed addition that incorporated many of the council’s previous recommendations. The vote was unanimous.

The extension, which was to be built on vacant land adjacent to the old furniture store, was reduced from five to four floors. Red brick veneer samples have been approved.

The existing building and the first level of the new structure would be for retail, restaurant or commercial use. A total of 12 one-bedroom apartments are planned for the upper floors of the extension.

Collaboration 3 Development is listed as owner.

Architect John Lee, with contractor Harley Shupp sitting nearby, got a COA for the properties at 215-217 Broadway. The project involves the demolition of the two-story commercial building at 215 to create a 25-by-107-foot addition to the neighboring former fire station at 217, which had been converted into a nightclub.

Lee explained that while the proposal has been presented to council in 2017 for several years, the current proposal meets the recommendations and requirements of the commissioners, including the foundation plans as well as the cut sheets of the metal panel system and the material samples.

According to Lee, Greg Salomoni, the owner, is in negotiations to buy the parking lot adjacent to the building that is to be demolished. Current plans have new construction growing in part of this space.

Asked by Vice President Craig Evans about what would happen if the sale fails, Lee replied that the new building would be downsized to accommodate the existing space. The applicants have been warned not to proceed with the demolition until zoning and other requirements have been met and the additional property has been purchased.

“The last thing we want is a big hole in there and no plans,” Lee reassured.

The vote was 5-1, with Seth Cornish as the dissenting vote. “I voted ‘no’ four years ago,” Cornish said, adding that he still thought it was “not appropriate”.

John Lee secured unanimous project approval for another client, Cathiern Kelly, owner of 510 E. Fourth St. The porch roof had collapsed on the front facade of the 2.5-story house in the late 19th century. The panel allowed for the replacement of the shingled porch roof and new support posts. They demanded that downspouts and gutters connect to a drain under the sidewalk.

Two signage proposals received unanimous support from the HCC.

The Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Richard Sause, Principal Director and architect Micah Mutschler secured a COA for a corner sign proposal for the venerable church at 321 Wyandotte Street. The sign consists of a single-sided aluminum sign with masonry support elements, including a cast stone cap on one side and three new LED uplights. The name of the church is in white letters on a red background measuring 15 feet, 8 inches by 3 feet, 10 inches with a graphic of a shield logo to the left of the serif letters.

Karen Greenlee of Pro Signs has been granted permission to replace the existing signage at the Speedway station at 201 Broadway. The 2-level digital message portion of the pylon panel displaying unleaded and diesel prices should be replaced with a 3-level unit with a digital message that toggles between “with payment card” and “without payment card” displayed above gasoline prices. Messages and prices should change every 10-12 seconds, which is slower than required by city code.

The signage was approved because the building, the sign and the canopy above the pumps are not considered to be historically contributing structures.

The property is owned by Hess Realty, LLC.

Bethlehem HCC is responsible for determining whether new signs or other modifications to the exterior of a building would be suitable for the neighborhood in one of the three designated historic districts. The next hearing is scheduled for October 18.

Obtaining a certificate of suitability is only the first step for business owners and residents of a designated historic district who wish to make alterations to the exterior of a building. The recommendations of the commission are then examined, then voted by the municipal council before any project is authorized.

Michael Metzger provides an example window.

PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURIER John Lee, foreground, has successfully represented the proposals for 215 Broadway and 510 E. Fourth St.

From left to right, Nativity Cathedral Senior Director Richard Sause and architect Micah Mutschler present a corner panel proposal for the venerable church at 321 Wyandotte Street.

Karen Greenlee answers questions about replacing existing signage for a gas station at 201 Broadway.

President Gary Lader goes through the plans, asking questions about the 215-217 Broadway construction project.

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