A developer proposing a pharmacy and medical office at the corner of Elsmere and Delaware avenues was given plenty to think about after a meeting with the Town of Bethlehem Development Planning Committee Thursday, Nov. 19, where it was said that an ongoing study may change the site's zoning and scuttle the project as presented.
Developer Tom Burke has been working with Community Care Physicians, located at 250 Delaware Ave., to affect an expansion of the medical offices that would also include an independent pharmacy. The two-story building with a roughly 23,000-square-foot footprint would sit at the location of a now-vacant building that housed a CVS before the chain built a new store across the street.
Both of the standing buildings would be demolished, but the Community Care offices would remain open during the construction of the new building then be leveled to make way for parking when the transition is complete.
Burke said that acquiring a new building is of great importance to the doctors practicing at Community Care. 250 Delaware was basically a temporary location for the doctors, who would like more space and more modern facilities that could hold specialized equipment.
The docs are in a space now that wasn't made for them, said Burke. "This is driven by what the doctors said they wanted and needed."
He said that the group has examined other location in town on Route 9 and in the Vista Technology Park. If the project at the corner of Delaware and Elsmere does not work out, the doctors will likely leave town in search of other accommodations, Burke said.
DPC members made several suggestions to the applicant and engineers, including ones involving traffic control and the parking lot design. The most important element of the discussion, however, was that the town's ongoing Delaware Avenue study will likely suggest rezoning the parcel from commercial hamlet to hamlet, which carries restrictions that would derail the proposal in its current form.