BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A new community in the Lehigh Valley will soon welcome some of the area's most creative individuals.

Housing Development Corporation MidAtlantic is in the home stretch of opening up two new properties in Bethlehem.

South Side Lofts is a 46-unit low-to-moderate income community, but priority is given to artists.

"One who practices any kind of art, including jewelry-making, musician, a painter," said Jolene Weaver, the company's marketing manager.

Close to 500 people have already shown interest in moving in, Weaver said. Applicants must meet income guidelines and submit a work portfolio for review, but anyone over 18 can apply.

The new community features two facilities -- one at Fifth and Hayes streets; the other at Fifth and Atlantic streets.

There is a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. The community is a blend of town, loft and flat-style homes.

All of the units include energy-efficient appliances, open floor plans and access to other on-site amenities.

In addition to artist work space, there will also be a gated parking lot and a laundry facility.

The converted St. Stanislaus Church will give the future residents a place to display their creations.

"We have reused that building in order to provide an artist and gallery space for the residents that are living at the community," Weaver said.

The idea came about a few years ago and is expected to cost close to $11 million. It's funded through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.