BETHLEHEM (APRIL 24) – Today State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) and Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, along with building owner Larry Eighmy, marked the award of an $ 830,000 loan for the continued redevelopment of the Historic Flat Iron building.

The loan is provided through the PA Department of Community and Economic Development program for the Alternative and Clean Energy (ACE) program.   Loans and grants offered through this program are used to promote the utilization, development and construction of alternative and clean energy products, infrastructure, energy efficiency and energy conservation in the state. The program is administered through the state’s Commonwealth Financing Authority.

The loan will be used to construct high performance commercial interiors in the building.  The project involves an energy efficient boiler, 5th floor renovations and 2nd floor retail space.  The system will include occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting controls and opaque window shades.  It will also have a rooftop garden and green roof to reduce storm water runoff.

“Funding for successful economic development programs in the state has always been a high priority for me,” Senator Boscola stated.  “The past several state budgets have failed to sufficiently invest in the job creating programs necessary to get our economy growing.  This new office space will translate into another opportunity for a Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) company or other business to make South Bethlehem its home,” Boscola added.

Mayor Donchez also pointed to the KIZ as a program that has been a critical component to the revitalization of the historic Flat Iron building.  Many consider the Flat Iron building as one of the most recognizable buildings in all of the Lehigh Valley.

“Since 2004, the KIZ has facilitated around $6 million dollars of investment to eligible companies in Bethlehem,” Mayor Donchez said.  “We are fortunate here in Bethlehem to have 14 exceptional primary partners that have really stepped up to the plate in order to continue and expand upon the KIZ.  The core amount of funding provided by the State was crucial in attracting additional investment in the KIZ program and should continue.”  Donchez noted.   “This program combined with our vibrant City helps to stop brain drain and keep and attract young, bright, tech savvy entrepreneurs to Bethlehem to live and work,” Donchez added.

Larry Eighmy thanked the state and city for their continued support of the revitalization of the building and the neighborhood.  He said the money will help create an additional 3,000 sq. ft. of much-needed office space in South Bethlehem.

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