Lehigh Valley Developer Named 2015 Developer of the Year
By Colin McEvoy on October 20, 2015
The Lehigh Valley was on proud display at the prestigious Commercial Real Estate Conference in Toronto this month, where Majestic Realty Co. was named Developer of the Year for 2015.
The event was held last week by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, the leading organization for developers, owners, investors, and professionals in office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use real estate.
During his acceptance speech, Majestic President and Chairman Edward P. Roski, Jr. spoke about the importance of persistence and hard work, and cited the Lehigh Valley as an example of a region reaching its full potential and becoming a thriving, diversified community.
“With the demise of the Steel Belt, many believed it would become the Rust Belt, but when other companies lamented that great towns had turned into ghost towns, we looked at the area through a different lens,” Roski said.
“We stopped focusing on what had happened and started noticing what could be,” he said. “We saw the promise and the potential. We listened to the community’s ambitions and aspirations, and we believed that together we could write a new chapter of recovery and renewal that would bring the Lehigh Valley back to life.”
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) was a sponsor at the conference, which was held Oct. 13 to 15 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. LVEDC was the only American economic development organization to sponsor the event, and one of only three from any country.
“Some of the biggest developers, investors, and real estate professionals in the nation attended this event, and we were the only economic development agency in the country speaking to them,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “This was an excellent and unique opportunity to market the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to an important audience.”
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge also spoke at the event and, like Roski, he highlighted the Lehigh Valley in particular, calling it a “burgeoning and exciting region” with several exciting ongoing development projects.
Majestic Realty Co. completed nine new buildings in the past year, adding more than 6 million square feet and increasing its ownership portfolio to 78 million square feet. Many of these new properties represent some of the largest and most successful build-to-suit and speculative projects in the company’s history.
“Majestic’s unique ability to thrive in changing market conditions, strong company leadership and financial stability, and longstanding record of community service make it the company to emulate across our industry and one in which we are proud to recognize as the 2015 Developer of the Year,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO.
Majestic Realty Co. is headquartered in southern California, with six other regional offices around the country, including one in Bethlehem. It is the largest privately-held industrial developer in the United States.
In the spring of 2014, Walmart opened one of two Lehigh Valley e-commerce facilities in a 1.2 million square-foot building constructed by Majestic, which employs about 200 people. Nationally, Majestic recently announced a major mixed-use, retail/entertainment development project and a 2,000-acre land acquisition in Laredo, TX.
“To be honored by your peers is truly the highest honor, and we are humbled by the NAIOP recognition as the 2015 Developer of the Year,” Roski said. “It goes without saying that we have an amazing team at Majestic Realty. Our team understands business, understands our clients and works very hard to earn our success in the development community and in our communities at large.”
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