by Justin Sweitzer
Nazareth Borough Council allowed community members to voice their suggestions and concerns at their monthly workshop meeting on Thursday, Dec. 1. The council heard from the likes of Nat Hyman, a developer behind a future apartment complex in the borough, as well as multiple residents who voiced displeasure over the inaction of a borough resident.
Nat Hyman, the developer of the forthcoming Lincoln Commons apartment complex in Nazareth, addressed council in an attempt to gain their blessing to begin filling finished units while construction continues.
Lincoln Commons, which was formerly the factory of Lincoln Textile Products Co. at East Belvidere and South Whitfield streets, is proposed to have 79 total units upon completion, with construction slated to come to an end in “a year to a year and a few months,” according to Hyman.
Hyman came before council with hopes that they would allow him to begin filling the 13 finished units, and the 18 other units that are nearing completion. Hyman also sought the approval to keep a building on the northwest area of the property, which was to be demolished in his original plan for the site.
Hyman said he needs to fill the 31 available spots for his lender to continue funding the project. He said he would be able to offer a reduced letter of credit.
He also fielded concerns from local residents who showed concern over parking, as well as what type of tenant will inhabit the units. Some residents were worried of potential risks associated with low income tenants, but Hyman stressed that all occupants will be “quality” tenants.
“Absolutely, positively no HUD, no section 8,” Hyman said. “We’re getting great quality tenants.”
Since the meeting was a workshop meeting, council could not vote on any of the measures requested by Hyman, but promised to revisit it at their Dec. 5 business meeting.
Nazareth residents also voiced frustration with stagnant development and neglect of two homes at the corner of Green Street and Mauch Chunk Road belonging to property owner Harry Graack. Allen said there are multiple broken windows on Graack’s buildings, as well as farm trucks with expired inspections permanently parked on his property.
Allen was joined by multiple other residents who shared her frustration over the alleged actions of Graack, which also reportedly include the restriction of street parking by Graack around his property.
“Everyone is affected here. We’ve had enough,” Allen said.
Councilman Carl Fischl assured residents that council will examine local laws to determine what action can be taken.
“Now we have to go back and reexamine the ordinances. Rest assured, council is going to make an effort to rectify this problem,” Fischl said.