FLSmidth Moves into Offices at Patriot American Park, once Agere’s Global Headquarters

By Nicole Radzievich Mertz on May 27, 2022

FLSmidth has moved its offices into Patriot American Park, built as the world headquarters of Agere in Hanvoer Township, Lehigh County. (Photo/Glenn Koehler)

FLSmidth, a global supplier of equipment for the cement and mining industries, has moved its offices to Patriot American Park, a notable lease in a time when companies nationwide are reconsidering their office footprints.

The office complex, with green-tinted glass that inspired the moniker “Emerald Palace,” was originally built as the world headquarters for Agere Systems on a 142-acre campus along Route 22 and has since been redeveloped for multiple tenants.

The move allows FLSmidth employees to access modern offices with an array of amenities, including a cafeteria, walking trails and a fitness center. The location keeps FLSmidth in the Lehigh Valley where the company has convenient highway access in the heart of the Northeast market.

“We’re excited to move into our new offices,” said Rafael Martinez, Vice President of Cement, FLSmidth. “’The Emerald Palace’, as some people might know it, offers a much more modern space with a lower carbon footprint, which is in keeping with our sustainability ambitions. Crucially, we’re staying local to our customers, and we look forward to welcoming them into the new offices in due course.”

Patriot American Park, 1110 American Parkway, Hanover Township, Lehigh County, was built in 2002 as the world headquarters for Agere. Known as Emerald Palace, the site is now a multi-tenant complex. (Photo/Glenn Koehler)

In the first quarter this year, FLSmidth signed a sublease for nearly 17,000 square feet at the Patriot American Park. 1110 American Parkway,  Hanover Township, Lehigh County, according to CoStar, a leading source of real estate analytics. FLSmidth officials say that is a part of a larger 47,000-square-foot local footprint. FLSmidth employs about 200 in the Lehigh Valley where its cement operations are centered. Company officials say FLSmidth is committed to staying in the Lehigh Valley because it is close to its customers.

Pat Turner, FLSmidth President of the North America region, credited the region’s talented workforce and high-quality educational institutions for producing talent to fill technical and engineering positions in a 2020 recorded interview with Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) President Don Cunningham.

George Lewis, LVEDC Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Research, said FLSmidth’s decision to stay in the Lehigh Valley is encouraging news during a time when the rise of remote work has caused uncertainty in the office market.

“As part of our new strategic plan adapted late last year, the LVEDC is targeting professional and creative services employers to come to, stay in, and grow in the Lehigh Valley because of our educated workforce, great support from educational institutions, and affordable, quality office space within a short commute from financial centers in New York City,” Lewis said. “Keeping a global company like FLSmidth here tells that story and helps support our recruitment strategy during a very challenging time for the office market.”

The Lehigh Valley’s footprint of rentable office space, excluding owner occupied and medical offices, has remained nearly unchanged at 17 million square feet with more space being vacated than occupied in the last two years.

Some developers, like City Center, have introduced more modern space, and Jaindl Enterprises is constructing a $39.5 million office building as part of a larger project, The Waterfront, in Allentown.

In recent years, well-known companies have reconfirmed their commitment to the Lehigh Valley. Air Products, a Fortune 500 company, completed its new corporate office in Upper and Lower Macungie townships. Guardian Life, one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers, celebrated in 2016 the opening of its new office complex in Hanover Township, Northampton County.

FLSmidth’s old location, which had once belonged to the Fuller Co. that FLSmidth acquired, won’t be vacant. The building at 2040 Avenue C, Bethlehem, was recently sold to the Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School

Fuller Co., which traces its operations back to the 1920s in Catasauqua, manufactured cement-making equipment, a key supply for the region’s  thriving cement industry. Fuller in 1959 acquired Traylor Engineering, which was founded at the turn of the century and had moved to Allentown. FLSmidth bought Fuller in 1990.

FLSmidth develops innovative technologies that have changed the face of the cement and minerals industries. The company, which grew from a one-man consulting company in 1882 in Denmark, is now a multi-national conglomerate with a presence in more than 60 countries.

Patriot American Park was built was built in 2002 amid a turbulent time for technology companies as the dot-come bubble burst. Agere was sold to LSI Corporation in 2006. Seven years later, Avago Technologies bought LSI, but the company did not need most of the space. Avago (which was later acquired by Broadcom) sold the building to Patriot Equities but remained a tenant. Patriot Equities did some major renovations and upgrades, turning the offices into a multi-tenant facility, according to its website. Among the larger tenants today is St. Luke’s Health University Health Network.

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