SteelStacks_HeaderSteelStacks, the arts and cultural campus located on the site of  Bethlehem’s former Bethlehem Steel plant, is one of the finalists in the Urban Land Institute Philadelphia’s inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence.  ULI Philadelphia, the nonprofit dedicated to providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities, has selected 28 projects in the region for consideration for the Awards of Excellence, with the winners to be announced June 18.

Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Awards for Excellence are designed to recognize the best projects completed within the last five years in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The 28 selected finalists represent a wide variety of project types, including adaptive reuse, commercial, residential, institutional, open spaces and many more from across the tri-state region. Jurors were tasked with ensuring each project met ULI’s mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and to help create and sustain thriving communities. ULI Philadelphia received nearly 60 nominations, which were reviewed by a 14-member panel of esteemed ULI members from across the country.

“This is an extremely competitive applicant pool, and we are thrilled with the level of response from the real estate community. The finalists represent a wide breadth of high quality project types from across the tri-state region, which speaks volumes about the caliber of development in the area,” said Awards Jury Chair Gary A. Hack, Ph.D., past Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, past Chair of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and a member of ULI New York.

Opened in 2011, SteelStacks is an arts and cultural campus located on the former Bethlehem Steel plant on Bethlehem’s SouthSide. Through a unique public-private partnership, the industrial site, one of the largest Brownfields under redevelopment in the nation, has been transformed into a dynamic destination for music, art, festivals and cultural events throughout the year.  Public and nonprofit partners working together to bring new life to the former steel mill include the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, City of Bethlehem, Bethlehem Area School District, Northampton County, ArtsQuest and PBS39.

In describing the SteelStacks project, ULI Philadelphia calls it, ”A ‘truly remarkable’ and creative adaptive reuse by the City of Bethlehem, transforming the old Bethlehem Steel Plant into a state-of-the-art cultural center that preserves the history of steelmaking while providing open space for events and setting a new course for the city.”

SteelStacks is the only project from the Lehigh Valley nominated for the ULI awards; other projects named as finalists range from Liberty Property Trust & Synterra Partners’ Five Crescent Drive at the U.S. Naval Base in Philadelphia, now the corporate headquarters for GlaxoSmithKline, to the Health Sciences Complex in Newark, Del., an innovative reuse of an abandoned Chrysler automotive assembly plant by the University of Delaware and STC Phase I Associate. The complete list of finalists is avaible at ULI Philadelphia’s website,

“The City of Bethlehem, the Redevelopment Authority and our partners in SteelStacks are honored to be recognized as a finalist for ULI Philadelphia’s Awards for Excellence,” says Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez. “Over the past decade, so many people and organizations have come together to help transform this former steel plant – closed for more than 15 years – into a dynamic destination for music, art and entertainment. This adaptive reuse of an industrial site once left for dead has had an incredibly positive impact on our city and our region, leading to additional development in our community while attracting more than 800,000 visitors to the city annually.”

For more information on SteelStacks, visit