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LVEDC Highlights Lehigh Valley Economy at Two High-Profile Events

By Colin McEvoy on March 20, 2017

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham speaking at the I.CON ‘17 conference in Toronto, hosted by NAIOP.

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham speaking at the I.CON ‘17 conference in Toronto, hosted by NAIOP.

Representatives from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) attended two high-profile events over the past two weeks, executing on the organization’s mission to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley.

LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham, along with representatives from The Rockefeller Group and Fitzpatrick, Lentz & Bubba, made a presentation the I.CON ‘17, a major conference organized by NAIOP, an international association of commercial real estate development professionals.

Cunningham also attended the Site Selectors Guild 2017 Annual Conference in Tucson, Ariz., where he had the opportunity to network directly with many of the world’s best location consultants, site selectors, and national industrial commercial brokers.

“These people are involved with virtually every major company relocation, and if they don’t know our region exists, they can’t recommend that a company comes here,” Cunningham said. “That’s why we’ve been spending a lot of time over the last two years getting to know members of the Site Selectors Guild and other location advisers, as well as attending events like these, where we have the opportunity to connect with them directly.”

I.CON ‘17, held March 7 to 8 in Toronto, is designed specifically for industrial developers, owners, and investors. The theme of this year’s event was “Impact Projects,” and the presentation Cunningham delivered focused specifically on the 1.1 million FedEx Ground megahub under construction in Allen Township.

But it also allowed Cunningham the opportunity to market the Lehigh Valley economy in general to groups of professional who own, develop, or invest in industrial properties. Making them aware of the Lehigh Valley means they will be better informed to communicate with the companies they work with when they are seeking a new location.

The $335 million project at 550 Willow Brook Road will be FedEx Ground’s largest regional hub in the United States, capable of processing 1.2 million packages a day. It will create 600 new jobs and transfer in 100 workers from existing facilities. Future expansions are also planned, and at full buildout in 2030, the megahub will employ more than 3,000.

During I.CON ‘17, the Rockefeller Group, a property developer with an international portfolio, presented the FedEx Ground project as a success story that resulted from successful collaboration with multiple partners, including LVEDC.

The project takes advantage of several economic assets of the region, including its central location, proximity to markets, strong workforce, and well-developed transportation infrastructure.

In addition to the FedEx Ground project, Cunningham touched on the Lehigh Valley’s e-commerce and industrial boom, record-high $37 billion GDP, manufacturing sector growth, foreign direct investment, and recent major business attraction and expansion projects.

The Site Selectors Guild is the only association of the world’s foremost professional site selection consultants. Guild members provide location strategy to corporations across the globe and for every industry, sector, and function.

The event highlights major economic trends and forecasts, and also affords the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts by corporate officials on how their companies make location decisions. It also provided the unique opportunity for networking and relationship-building with the consultants who lead this profession.

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Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

  • Industry Spotlight

    14.2% of Labor Force
    Employed in Professional & Business Services
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $37 Billion

    Gross Domestic Product

  • Investor Spotlight
    City Center Lehigh Valley
  • Industry Spotlight

    10.2% of Labor Force
    Employed in Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    $4.3 Billion

    Exports (2015)

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    Air Products
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    1325 Total Office Buildings

  • By the Numbers
    $58,134

    Median Household Income

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    PPL Electric Utilities
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    1707 Total Industrial Buildings

  • By the Numbers
    24,400

    New Jobs Created Over Past 5 Years

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    National Penn
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    4.8% Industrial
    Vacancy Rate

  • By the Numbers
    658,477

    Population

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    Olympus
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    8.8% Office
    Vacancy Rate

  • By the Numbers
    336,100

    Labor Force

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    Lutron Electronics
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    10% of Labor Force
    Employed in Leisure & Hospitality
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    4,359

    Technology Patents from 2000-2013

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    Mack Trucks
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    1.6% of Labor Force
    Employed in Food & Beverage Manufacturing
    Q4 2016

  • By the Numbers
    25 Million

    Office Inventory (Square Feet)

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    UGI
  • By the Numbers
    108 Million

    Industrial Inventory (Square Feet)

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