Catty earns award for redevelopment
At Lehigh Valley Planning Commission’s fifth annual planning and development gala celebration Oct. 18 at DeSales University Center, the Borough of Catasauqua was awarded the Communities of Distinction Award.
“We were recognized for what we did with our waterfront zoning district and our new borough building and fire station,” Councilwoman Christine Weaver said. “The selection committee was impressed with how the borough handled the abandoned industrial site.
“This award raises our profile as a community. We have seen an increase in the number of developers interested in developing the Iron Works property,” she said.
The Iron Works redevelopment effort includes 11-plus acres along the Lehigh River and the D&L Trail. The goal is to develop a mixed-use project that will accommodate 65,000 square feet of commercial space and 200 residential units. Conceptual drawings for the site were developed by Spillman Farmer Architects and used as a basis for future planning.
“We have a concerted effort to work with developers,” Weaver said. “We already made changes to open Front Street to two-way traffic.”
The borough sent out a flier to developers outlining compelling reasons to work with the borough.
“We have low development fees, and stormwater management on the site has been worked out with the Lehigh County Conservation District and the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection),” Weaver said.
LVPC Executive Director Becky Bradley echoed the borough’s commitment.
“Catasauqua has long fostered a strong foundation in community planning, but it carried its commitment to another level through its waterfront redevelopment project,” she said.
In addition to the award, the borough will be able to display a Communities of Distinction Award sign at entrances to the borough.
There was competition for this year’s award. Bethlehem Town- ship, Portland Borough and Heidelberg Township had competing projects and compelling reasons to select their municipalities.
Communities of Distinction is the top award, and there are competitive subcategories that are recognized at the gala.
Past winners of the award include Bethlehem, 2014; Bushkill Township, 2015; and South Whitehall Township, 2016.