Before the decision to award a gambling license to Bethworks, there was no real gentrification in south side Bethlehem. Its rentals were similar to rates elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley. But the "imminent slots-and-lofts redevelopment" will certainly change that picture, along with the demographic make up of Bethlehem's south side. It's the new apartheid, bippy. Bethlehem, the Christmas City, will certainly morph into Bethlehem, the White Christmas City. Jersey transplants will be insulated from the Lehigh Valley's riff raff by tinseltowns like The Promenade Shops at Upper Saucon.
Bethlehem is delighted at the inevitable increased tax revenues. But forgotten are the poor, mostly Hispanic, who have little political or economic clout. I don't see any effort to expand affordable housing for those who will be displaced. They'll be nudged aside for latte-sipping yuppies, a process that occurs regularly in several U.S. cities.
So just as the original Bethlehem had no room for Jesus, neither does its Pennsylvania namesake.