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Lehigh, City team up on South Side beautification

Lehigh University has unveiled two more initiatives designed to strengthen the South Side Bethlehem neighborhood adjacent to campus.

The university announced Wednesday, May 1 that ice cream, coffee and Italian food will be served up at the commercial spaces on the ground level of the new Campus Square residence hall/retail complex. The complex, which also includes Lehigh's new bookstore, is scheduled to open in late summer. University and city officials also jointly announced South Side beautification projects.

The Cup, operated by the Bethlehem Dairy Store, with two current locations, both on Linden Street on the north side of Bethlehem, will open its third store in the Campus Square space closest to Morton Street. Jazzman's, a coffeehouse operated by The Wood Company, will occupy the middle space, and Pastaficio, an Italian restaurant with a current location on Hamilton Street in Allentown, will occupy the third space. All three spaces are on the ground level on the west side of the Campus Square pedestrian plaza, opposite what will be the new, two-story Lehigh bookstore.

Lehigh also announced that it will fund a South Side Community Beautification Project designed to spruce up the neighborhoods directly adjacent to Campus Square. The beautification project could include a variety of landscaping measures such as weed control, plantings, and ground maintenance.

Gregory C. Farrington, Lehigh president, said Campus Square and the beautification projects reflect the university's commitment to working with the city to strengthen the economic vitality of the South Side.

"Campus Square provides another housing option-- right now the hottest option on campus-- for our students," said Farrington. "But it also is designed to serve our neighbors and to encourage more Lehigh students to patronize the South Side retail district. We can't thank the mayor, City Council members, other city officials, and the local merchants enough for their continuing cooperation. The beautification project is our way of showing in a very real way that we are part of this community and care deeply about the appearance of our neighborhoods."

With the active help of Lehigh, the City of Bethlehem has secured more than $2 million to upgrade the streetscapes of the South Side business district to include repaving of streets, brick crosswalks, sidewalk repairs, benches and most significant, new pedestrian-friendly lights. The 13-foot acorn style lights will be installed along Third and Fourth Streets from Wyandotte to Taylor and parts of Brodhead and Broadway. Work is expected to begin in May and be completed during the summer. The city is also developing an anti-litter campaign to create public awareness and encourage citizens and visitors to help keep the city looking clean.

"These projects exemplify the strong partnership the city and Lehigh have developed," said Don Cunningham, Bethlehem mayor. "Our mutual goal is to create a South Side retail district that attracts visitors from other neighborhoods and indeed from the entire region. And it's happening."

Posted on Thursday, May 09, 2002

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