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Progress at Vista

Clearing and construction work will continue through the winter at the Vista Technology Park off of Route 85.

Clearing and construction work will continue through the winter at the Vista Technology Park off of Route 85.

If you drive past the future site of the Vista Technology Park on Route 85, it is tough to get a good look at what’s happening behind the two large hills blocking the construction site.

Enter the development zone, and it’s clear to see that there’s plenty of progress being made.

During a recent tour granted to The Spotlight, officials with the construction company in charge of work at the site detailed their plans heading into 2012.

“A lot of the earth work is going to be done in the next month and a half to two months,” said Jonathan deForest, the executive vice president of BBL Construction Services. “That will pave the way for the utilities.”

Crews are focusing on a 3/4-mile road that will allow access to future development on the 1.4 million square feet of mixed retail and office space. Work must be completed on that road to allow for utility lines to be run to the back of the park.

Utility improvements will also be done along Route 85 in the front of the park.

“This will be an active site right up through July of next year,” said deForest.

At a recent meeting of the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency, IDA members approved tax abatements for the first three projects at the site: a supermarket and two banks. Members are preparing to add “clawback” stipulations to those deals, which will allow for the tax breaks to be rescinded if tenants do not meet certain requirements, such as a failure to make agreed payments, or to meet requirements for length of operations at the site.

Joe Nicolla with Columbia Development, the developer at Vista, also informed IDA members that he was preparing to move forward with a next wave of potential applications for tenants at the site.

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