New Use for Historic Bethlehem Steel Co. Armaments Factory Spins a Mixed-Use Community

Share Article

Denizens find Riverport, a slick new take on condos with history, plus Steel Fitness Gym, and Starters Sports Restaurant, in Bethlehem, PA, is a hot new place to live, and socialize.

The former Bethlehem Steel Co.’s Johnson Machine Shop has been transformed, under strict historic guidelines, into Riverport, a slick 198,000 square foot mixed-use living/commercial community currently being completed with finishing touches for residential and commercial occupancy, June 2006.

The 4.5 acre building was used to manufacture World War II armaments in this former steel town turned far-reaching suburb of New York and New Jersey.

Now, Riverport features 172 state-of-the-art luxury condominiums (all but 25 have been sold), a 14,000 square foot upscale full-service Steel Fitness gym, a 25,000 square foot sports restaurant/bar, and captive public parking and secured private parking.

Another perk of this unusual $45 million historic rehab, which is listed with the National Register of Historic Places, are its two football field-sized courtyards, or “Village Greens.” They will serve as covered, all-weather village green of sorts, complete with landscaping and mature trees, Wi-Fi wireless internet access, soothing water fountains, seating for residents and restaurant patrons, and open windows for fresh air and natural effects.

Developed by Ashley Development, Bethlehem, PA, eligibility to earn status as National Historic Place required every brick, trim, windowpane, and minute detail to be meticulously refurbished to match the original structure, according to Louis P. Pektor, president and founder of Ashley Development.

Demand for the condos exceeded original projections in this mid-sized city 80 miles from Manhattan, according to Pektor, who gave vision to the project, that Governor Ed Rendell lauded May 9th during a visit. Nearly 85 percent of the condos have sold, at price points from $160,000 to $600,000.

Real estate projects like Riverport are bringing new life back to the inner city of Bethlehem, a town that had been home to the Bethlehem Steel Co., once the second largest steel manufacturer in the world, offered Governor Rendell.

“My vision has always been to bring businesses back downtown because a thriving downtown means commerce, but also an appreciation for civic life, architecture, recreation and history,” says Pektor, who was born and bred in the Bethlehem area and is graduate of Moravian College and Lehigh University.

Ashley Development Co. was founded in 1989 by Louis P. Pektor III. Ashley Development invests in residential, office, and commercial and adaptive re-use projects. From green field to historic restoration, Ashley Development brings vision and unique approach to each project. The company has successfully completed more than 100 projects with a total market value exceeding $500 million.

Ashley Development is a full-service land development company headquartered in the Lehigh Valley, PA. Riverport is located at 11 West Second Street, Bethlehem, PA.

For press information, call Tina Bradford at 610-807-9098, or 610-248-3460 (cell). For information on condominiums, call Ashley Development at 610-332-3300.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Tina Bradford