Lehigh Valley

69 News goes inside "The Gateway Project"

Developers say it will transform the neighborhood.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - "The Gateway Project" at 3rd and New Streets on Bethlehem's south side is nearing completion and we now know the first retail tenant that will be in the building.

The team that owns Grille 3501 in Allentown is opening a second restaurant and lounge on the building's top floor.

"I think the south side is the place to be. Or else we wouldn't have picked it, said co-owner John Trapani, who owns the Grille with John Pukanecz.

Outdoor space will play a central role at the new spot, with views overlooking both the north and south sides of Bethlehem.

"The deck facing the north side is going to have outdoor seating," explained Trapani.

The plan is also to have a climate controlled glass solarium for year-round use.

There's one big thing left: picking a name.

"It's still up for debate," said Trapani. "I guess people are going to have to wait for the surprise on the name."

They plan to open mid to late summer.

Meanwhile, "The Gateway Project" developer Dennis Benner, says he has multiple parties interested in leasing other space in the building.

He expects restaurants and retail to fill the space, along with multiple floors dedicated to Lehigh University and St. Luke's.

Lehigh, in fact, is only a couple weeks away from moving in.

Despite stirring controversy for its size and the garage connected to it, Benner says the project will transform the neighborhood in a positive way.

"I don't have any question about it. It already is," Benner told 69 News.

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