In Lackawanna, a glimpse of what millions in funding could do for an old Bethlehem Steel plant

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“Wow, I cannot believe this is finally happening.”

Lebanon County residents will understand the sentiment behind those words by New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul about the progress finally being made on a left-behind Bethlehem Steel plant sitting in Lackawanna on the shore of Lake Erie.

In New York, $19 million in local, state and federal money is involved with the redevelopment of the 150 acre compound. The latest improvement is a mile-long recreation trail that runs along the inner (land-side) border of the property.

Read more about the new public trail on Buffalo News

Here’s a map of the site along the shore of Lake Erie:

Lebanon’s Bethlehem Steel plant impending closure was announced in 1984, after a labor dispute compounded with negative business conditions.

The Lebanon site is operated today by Lincoln Fifth, encompassing about 700,000 SF. The largest building (#3) is itself more than 270,000 SF. A number of the buildings are already fully leased, but there is still ample space available. All the buildings are included in a Keystone Opportunity Zone which includes tax benefits.

Here are some earlier shots of the facility.

The site lies between the railroad tracks and the Quittapahilla Creek.

If Lebanon had nearly $20 million to improve its former Bethlehem Steel site, what could be done?

Personally I’d love to see a walking trail along the creek, but I’m much more interested in what you think should happen — let me know in the comments.

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