Catasauqua Press

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Borough gets bid for Iron Works project

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Contractor proposes reusing existing buildings to ‘add historical value’

Catasauqua had high hopes for developers for the Iron Works site. Zoning was revamped to make it convenient, and a bevy of requests from interested companies was received. The deadline for submissions was 4 p.m. Nov. 30.

At 3:58 p.m., the fax machine began to stutter, spitting out a proposal one agonizing page at a time. One of the office staff said there were two men outside the municipal building trying to get in. The borough office closed 4 p.m.

To the relief of borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder, council President Vincent Smith and Councilwoman Christine Weaver, there was a bidder.

Andrew Twiggar, one of the founding partners of Dunn Twiggar Company LLC, arrived with a set of concept documents. The other partner in the firm is Ryan Dunn. Eric DeLong, USA Architects in Catasauqua, was the selected architect. Twiggar and DeLong made their way up to the conference room to make an informal presentation.

Twiggar presented a couple of options. One involved completely reworking the site, removing everything and starting with a clean slate. The second option was to reuse some of the existing buildings.

“We favor the reuse proposal because it adds historical value with adaptive reuse, a trend we see in many projects,” Twiggar said.

The borough representatives agreed. A cursory review of the plans by Smith indicated the requirements outlined by the borough were being met.

The original schedule called for a series of interview meetings and classifying projects into priority levels for the next steps in the process.

“We can change some of the processes since we only have one bidder,” Goldfeder said. “It should make the whole thing go faster.”

The borough has a review committee set up to look at the concepts in detail. The review process is scheduled to begin next week.

“What we asked for was a concept. I don’t expect that the final proposal will be the same as what we have on paper now,” Goldfeder said. “Our first go-around on the municipal building was significantly different than the final plans. But we have someone to work with and concepts that we can review.”

Dunn Twiggar is the lead contractor on the Allentown River Front project. They are based locally.