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Lehigh Valley Steel Fabricator Expanding, With Help From LVEDC

By Colin McEvoy on September 12, 2016

Michelman Steel Enterprises was awarded a $1.75 million loan through the PIDA program, one of the many economic development incentives LVEDC administers. (LVEDC file photo)

Michelman Steel Enterprises was awarded a $1.75 million loan through the PIDA program, one of the many economic development incentives LVEDC administers. (LVEDC file photo)

A steel fabricator in the Lehigh Valley is expanding thanks in part to financing the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) helped them secure this month.

Michelman Steel Enterprises was awarded a $1.75 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan to acquire and renovate a 71,150 square-foot manufacturing facility in Bethlehem.

Since coming to the Lehigh Valley in 2012, Michelman Steel has operated out of its Upper Macungie Township location, which includes about 26,000 square-feet of operating space and about 1,200 square-feet of office space.

But the company has grown steadily since that time, resulting in the need to expand to the new Bethlehem facility at 3135 Schoenersville Road, according to Eric Michelman, the company’s owner and president.

“We appreciate all that LVEDC has done to assist our company over the last few years,” Michelman said. “They have really helped us not only start this business in the Lehigh Valley, but to grow it here. The business community in this region is very fortunate to have a resource like this organization available.”

LVEDC has worked with Michelman Steel since their inception and helped them secure the $1.75 million PIDA loan, a 15-year loan at 2.25 percent interest for the first seven years.

“The PIDA program is a powerful tool, and it’s just one of the many economic development incentives we have to offer,” said John Kingsley, LVEDC vice president of finance. “Our finance department administers more than a dozen local, state and federal programs to help companies grow and succeed here in the Lehigh Valley.”

The total Michelman Steel project cost is estimated to be $3.5 million, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The new facility is expected to be in operation by mid-2017. It will create 17 new jobs and retain 27 existing positions.

The PIDA program offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction, and renovations that results in the creation or preservation of jobs.

LVEDC has helped several Lehigh Valley companies obtain PIDA funding this year, including Vastex International, Inc., an Allentown-based screen printing machines manufacturer, which received a $1.2 million loan; and Everson Tesla, Inc., a Nazareth-based manufacturer, which received a $450,000 loan.

The $1.75 million loan for Michelman Steel was awarded from the state through the Lehigh County-based Lehigh’s Economic Advancement Project, Inc. (LEAP), one of several organizations LVEDC partners with for the administration of its financing programs.

Michelman Steel Enterprises fabricates structural steel for bridge and large building construction, with customers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country. The company is doing work on such projects as the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge in New York City.

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