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Deal gives displaced South Bethlehem residents, businesses more time

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Deal gives displaced South Bethlehem residents, businesses more time

Picture of Sara Satullo
Developer Rafael Palomino plans a 9-story mixed-use development on the site of this stretch of South New Street. He's incorporat
Developer Rafael Palomino plans a 9-story mixed-use development on the site of this stretch of South New Street. He's incorporating the Italianate facade in the new design at the behest of the local historic review board.
Saed Hindash | For lehighvalleylive.com
Lehigh Valley Live
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

A developer and restaurateur on Wednesday delivered on his promise to allow tenants of his new Bethlehem building to stay rent-free for 90 days to ease the burden of their displacement.

Rafael Palomino recently filed eviction notices against the commercial and residential tenants of his new South New Street properties. Palomino and his business partner Jeffrey Quinn are planning a nine-story mixed-use development on the site with 61 apartments anchored by his own eatery.

Palomino and three of his tenants were back before District Magistrate Jordan Knisley on Wednesday morning, a week after she continued the eviction hearing over a filing technicality.

“I appreciate your actions,” Knisley told Palomino as they went over the agreement.

Palomino is forgiving back rent and allowing the tenants to stay rent-free until April 1, when they will have to vacate their spaces, according to the eviction stay agreement.

He’s also hired a real estate broker to assist Car Village Title and Notary and JC Jewelry and Gifts with relocating. Jewelry shop owner Juan Colello said he’s already found a new space.

Car Village owner Cindy Rivas said she has a few prospects thanks to Palomino’s broker and a lehighvalleylive.com article about her displacement.

Palomino is pleased he was able to work with all the tenants and give them time to find new housing and commercial spaces.

“They are very nice people,” he said.

His company 325 South New Street Development LLC officially bought the property for almost $1 million in late October. The eviction filing affected three residential tenants and two remaining commercial tenants.

Read Part 1 of the Edged Out series, “The fight for the heart of a South Bethlehem community,” at lehighvalleylive.com.

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Sara K. Satullo reported this story while participating in the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2021 National Fellowship, which provided training, mentoring, and funding to support this project. She may be reached at ssatullo@lehighvalleylive.com.

[This article was originally published by Lehigh Valley Live.]

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