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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i am not sure what your point is. there was a great recession that hurt the housing market through out the country and bethlehem was also hit by it? there is 3 million sq ft of new warehouse dev going on in Bethlehem as we speak. that is huge and will be a great rateable for the city when it comes on line . donchez should say thank you.
The point is to inform people about the exact nature of residential and commercial development in Bethlehem since 2004. It's called information.
the fatter you get the more boring you are. change your picture to reflect the truth
The message I get is this . .
Mixed sources report mixed results. There is NO reliable data being reported, just data.
In this difficult world, when one of your sources reports everything rosy that must not be your only source. These days, one has to dig around and do their own final analysis. The slant from all directions is getting steeper.
Blogs like this one can have a true purpose in helping all of us sort through the smoke.
Bernie, completely OT but heard this joke and thought of Geeting:
What's the difference between a PhD in Linquistics and a pepperoni pizza?
The pizza can feed a family of 4.
I am sure you could say this for any city like Bethlehem. Bethlehem, with the exception of the Steel land (including Martin Tower) is pretty much built out. No residential subdivisions there.
Brownfields are typically harder to develop because of the extra cost. Seems that this decline was appropriate given the economic climate. Glad to see they have turned corner.
The recession is a part of it but I believe a more accurate way of explaining the issue is to describe the recession as bursting the pre-2008 housing bubble and bringing about a correction in the Lehigh Valley housing market place. Before 2008 developers were willing to build houses at a high cost of construction because the ultimate sales price of the product was high. There was a high demand for higher price products and there was also plenty of money available for mortgage financing with less lender imposed restrictions. After 2008, construction and development costs remained relatively high but prices and demand dropped as potential buyers lost good paying jobs and residential mortgage financing got more difficult when government financial regulators tightened restrictions on lending. The comment made by 11:46 is also relevant because Bethlehem has run out of development parcels that come at an affordable price of land. Developers can only make the numbers work for positive cash flow on expensive parcels if the final sales price for the newly constructed housing is high. For reasons stated above that is no longer the case.
The data cited here comes from the City of Bethlehem. It is based on plans approved. I am not disparaging any city, certainly not Bethlehem, and am simply reporting development trends.
To follow-up, I expect this to be the type of data that SOME traditional news outlets will ignore. Our information stream is changing. New outlets (blogs like this one) are being created because older, commonly known, news sources are failing to serve in the general public interest. Their mission has changed from reporting the news to SHAPING the news.
You hate the truth, don't you?
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