The Bethlehem Mayor Race Summed Up in Two Press Conferences

Willie Reynolds laid out his economic development agenda in front of Pi, a tech incubator in a mixed use neighborhood on Southside Bethlehem.

Bob Donchez laid out his economic development agenda in front of an industrial park on the fringes of civilization:

Reynolds held his economic development news conference at Bethlehem’s Pi: Partnership for Innovation technology center. Bethlehem invested $700,000 in renovating the building that is now home to 52 employees.

Reynolds said technology is at the center of Bethlehem’s economic renaissance and he wasn’t sure if Donchez would support investing in it as much as he does. But Donchez also mentioned plans to continue Bethlehem’s technology centers in his economic development plans.

Donchez held his economic development news conference at Crystal Signatures, a crystal sculpture company that opened in Bethlehem in 1997 and moved to Lehigh Valley Industrial Park I in 2006. He pointed to the LVIP as crucial to the city’s post-Bethlehem Steel Corp. economy.

When Bernie O’Hare asked Donchez about fiscal politics, he made clear he thinks the ticket to growth is luring more businesses to the industrial parks.


No more industrial parks. The ticket to growth in Bethlehem is luring more businesses to the Central Business District zones, and enlarging the CBD zones to encompass more of the downtowns. All new commercial development needs to happen in the core business districts, and on the former Steel land closest to Steel Stacks and PBS. Vertical mixed-use development, not more industrial park sprawl.

Willie Reynolds thinks the neighborhoods and downtowns are the key to the city’s economic renaissance, and Donchez wants to double down on dumb growth.

Also “Christmas City Economic Development Corp” sounds so corny.

(Via Lynn Olanoff)

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