Nonresidential development dropped from 2,378,224 sq ft in 2008 to just 1,347,481 sq ft in 2009. As bad as that was, things got much worse in 2010, with just 102,342 sq ft in commercial square footage. Since that time, Bethlehem has been on an unsteady rebound.
Last year, there was 1.2 million sq ft in commercial development, mostly in warehouse or medical office development.
The nosedive in residential development began in 2008. Residential units approved dropped from 681 units in 2007, to just 67 units in 2008. In 2011, there was none. Last year, just 46 residential units were approved. But according to Heller, there were more building permits issued for homes in 2012 than in any year since 2004. In 2013, 45 building permits were issued for single family homes. This leads Heller to conclude that the surplus of approved dwellings is decreasing.
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