Demolition Begins on Former Guardian Building, Site of Future Lehigh Valley Flex Center
By Colin McEvoy on February 26, 2019
Demolition work has begun on a former Guardian Life Insurance office building that will soon be an industrial center for multiple tenants for light manufacturing, serving a long-standing need for more small-footprint industrial and flex spaces in the Lehigh Valley.
J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc. announced that demolition has begun on the former Guardian building at 3900 Burgess Place in Hanover Township, Northampton County, to make way for a new three-building, 470,000 square-foot industrial complex called the Lehigh Valley Flex Center.
“An important and often overlooked element of economic development is the redevelopment of brownfields and the rehabilitation of vacant buildings into new, vibrant uses for the region,” said Don Cunningham, President and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
“We’re grateful that J.G. Petrucci has once again breathed new life into another Lehigh Valley property, particularly one that serves the growing need for smaller industrial flex space in the region to meet manufacturing demand,” Cunningham said.
LVEDC has long advocated for the creation of more small-footprint manufacturing and flex space, particularly in the 40,000 to 80,000 square-foot range in the Lehigh Valley. Available regional space in that range has changed very little in recent years, growing from 13.2 million in Q3 2012 to 13.4 million in Q3 2017.
“There hasn’t been very much vacancy or new construction in this area, and the result of that is a great deal of unsatisfied demand,” said Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing.
The new Lehigh Valley Flex Center will address the need of users in the region seeking flexible lease options for requirements that range from 50,000 to 160,000 square feet, according to J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc.
The class A flex center will include three buildings, two 160,000 square feet in size and one 150,000 square feet, all located on a 31-acre flex campus that will include 43 trailer spaces.
It will be built in three phases, with the first expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, and the other two in 2020, according to Jim Petrucci, Founder and President of J.G. Petrucci Co., Inc.
The old former Guardian structure, which is 196,823 square feet and is also comprised of three buildings, was constructed in 1983. It was purchased by Petrucci subsidiary Triple Net Investments in 2017 after Guardian built a new office complex at 6255 Sterners Way, also in Hanover Township, Northampton County.
“This building really became obsolete over the years and we look forward to replacing it with a highly functional complex that will serve user’s demand for manufacturing and warehouse spaces available for lease in the 50,000 to 160,000 square foot range,” Petrucci said.
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