Developers are transforming the former Coca-Cola building at 1825 W. Broad St. in Bethlehem into a new commercial complex.
The building, which was constructed in 1942, processed and shipped Coca-Cola products until the early 1980s. It housed both executive offices and manufacturing and warehousing facilities.
Tavarez Real Estate Investments purchased the property and is currently renovating it to create the West Broad Street Commons.
Tavarez Real Estate Investments is the real estate division of Austin’s Auto Service. Austin’s Auto Service was purchased by Nelson and Carolina Tavarez in 2010. The purchase was the beginning of the growth plans for the auto repair business.
Austin’s Auto Service is a minority-owned business employing 13 full-time staff. It will be a tenant in the complex.
The 67,000-square-foot building currently houses Cheryl Chickey’s All-American Performing Arts Center, which will remain a tenant in the building after renovations are complete.
Besides Austin’s Auto Service, Made in the Shade Film Pros will also be new tenants in the building. The developers are still looking for tenants for the remaining space.
Improvements being made to the building include updating communications connections with fiber optics, LED lighting and a more energy efficient HVAC system.
The improvements are expected to take about six months.
Financing for the project is being handled by ESSA Bank & Trust and Pursuit, a local community development corporation that provided access to SBA funding.
The SBA 504 program provides businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing at rates tied to the treasury bond rate. The interest rate and term are usually significantly lower and longer than conventional bank lending terms and require CDC and bank participation.
W2A Architects and 4/4 Architecture provided the design plans for the project with major work contracted to Shafnisky Electric, Young Plumbing, MBI HVAC Inc. and Shearer Contracting. Exterior site improvements will be completed by Jerdon Construction.