Former Bethlehem Steel land may host another tenant, according to city officials.
Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan said there are plans in the works to create a post-incubation tech center on the city’s South Side.
Dubbed the “Tau” project, the space would mimic the Pi building, which is also on the South Side, above Cantelmi’s Hardware.
The Pi space is open to companies, most of which have taken advantage of the business incubator services provided by the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“For our latest post incubator space, we put out a call to every entrepreneur, inventor, scientist, developer, hacker, mathematician, student, professor and thinker – ‘Bethlehem wants you’ — and they responded, almost overwhelmingly so,” the mayor said.
The 8,000-square-foot space is filled to capacity, and the demand for office space in the Keystone Innovation Zone remains high, he said.
The Tau project would be housed in the former Bethlehem Steel General Office Building East Annex.
The addition of a new post-incubator site in the city is a commitment, Callahan said, to “reinvest in technology centers, facilities where we can attract and grow the best and brightest companies and individuals.”
Getting another post incubation space is great news to Laura Eppler, director of marketing for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Bethlehem.
“The city is demonstrating interest in retaining jobs and creating sustainable, highly paid jobs, which is our whole mission. We think this is definitely positive,” said Eppler.
Since Ben Franklin started in 1983, the facility has launched 55 successful companies which have created 5,400 jobs. Tech companies also brought $620 million in revenue to the Valley last year. There are 25 companies at Ben Franklin’s Bethlehem facility employing 158 people.