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Vista financing gets Bethlehem's OK

Others, including Mike Tucker, president of the Center for Economic Growth and former head of the IDA, said with high-tech businesses coming to the area, making sure Vista is ready is important.

"It's critical that this town have the ability to attract industrial and commercial development beyond retail development," he said during the meeting's public comment period. "In this economy, it's important the town is ready. Shovel ready."

Others in the audience panned not only the idea of having a public body involved in the project, but also criticized Vista's retail component. My Place owner Jim Giacone said he knows many business owners in town who feel residential growth hasn't kept pace with retail expansion.

"It seems to be quite out of whack," he said. "The pie gets littler for every independent business."

Vista would be home to a CVS, SEFCU, Berkshire Bank and restaurants. The main retail tenant, though, would be a ShopRite grocery store.

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