Friday, January 15, 2016
Bethlehem Boyd Blighted
That new owner is Bethlehem- Boyd LP. The members of this limited partnership include Charles C. Jefferson, a prominent real estate investor from Philadelphia; and Duane A. Wagner, a Lehigh Valley real estate advisor. The propertry was transferred on New Year's Eve and is encumbered by a $1.18 million mortgage to People's Security Bank and Trust.
Interestingly, Wagner is also associated with developer Lewis Ronca, and was involved in much of the communicatrions with Bethlehem City staffers that led to a new zoning ordinance at the Martin Tower development.
It has been speculated that City officials were willing to give Martin Tower favorable zoning in exchange for Ronca's agreement to transfer a CRIZ designation for a portion of his 52-acre development. That CRIZ designation enables Ronca to uses state sales and income taxes to finance development.
At a December news conference, Mayor Donchez specifically denied that there was deal to give Ronca favorable zoning in exchange for a few CRIZ acres.
The Boyd was first established in 1921. It became known as The Boyd Theatre in 1934.It has been closed since 2011.
Under Pennsylvania law, a blight designation is the first step in a long process that could lead to taking over the property.
Other properties declared blighted by the Planning Commission are 1515 E 6th St, 635 Fifth Ave, 816 E. 5th St, 704 Wyandotte St and 3681 Township Line Rd.
Updated 1:17 pm