Lehigh Valley

Community Garden may be victim of progress in South Bethlehem

A building may be planted on garden site

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Bethlehem community garden at the corner of Third and New streets soon may make way for progress in the city.

A six-story office building may be planted on the garden site.

On Tuesday night, Bethlehem City Council will consider a resolution to sell the city-owned property for $70,000 to developer Dennis Benner of Greenway Park LP.

Ironically, Tuesday also marks the 17th anniversary of what is known as the Maze Garden in south Bethlehem.

In a lengthy memo, John Pettegrew, director of the South Side Initiative, argues the garden should remain at the south side's center.

"Communities must grow," wrote Pettegrew. "The question is in what manner and at what cost.

"The imminent decision to sell the Maze Garden must take into account what the garden has meant to the south side over the past seventeen years and all that it would continue to do in the years to come."

Benner is planning a 90,000-square-foot building with retail on the first floor and offices on the upper floors at 6-12 W. Third St.

The resolution to be considered by council states the property was given to the city by Northampton County for the specific purpose of economic development.

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