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Lehigh Valley Industrial Market Lauded in Recent Magazine

By Colin McEvoy on November 11, 2016

northeast-real-estate-businessThe Lehigh Valley has one of the fastest-growing industrial markets is the entire United States, and people are starting to take notice of it.

The most recent Northeast Real Estate Business, a magazine that covers developments and trends in commercial real estate activity in the Northeast, includes extensive coverage of the Lehigh Valley and third-party testimonials from several experts about the region’s economic assets.

Below are a few selected quotes from the October 2016 issue. Northeast Real Estate Market is published seven times per year.

 

Gerry Blinebury of Cushman & Wakefield discusses the Lehigh Valley industrial market:

“We are seeing properties trade at the highest per-square-foot values we’ve ever seen in this market, and the lowest cap rates seen to date. However, the market is so strong that few Class A properties are changing hands. Most properties offered for sale are Class B or are part of large national portfolios.”

One article in the magazine discusses the growth of industrial development, much of it speculative, across America and particularly in the Lehigh Valley:

“In terms of construction, speculative projects account for roughly two-thirds of the industrial development across the country – and a larger proportion in the Lehigh Valley, consistent with the strength of the market, says David Egan, America’s head of industrial research with CBRE.”

David Egan also notes that the growth in the Lehigh Valley market is largely due to the availability of land and the region’s access to consumers, with two-thirds of the U.S. population within a day’s drive:

“The Lehigh Valley is an interesting market,” Egan says. “It was a sleepy submarket pre-2005. Now, it is one of the most rapidly growing markets in the world. It truly went from non-entity to global market in a decade.”

The publication also notes the explosion in the Lehigh Valley’s e-commerce industry, which has been aided by access to good labor and proximity to large population centers and transportation arteries:

“The labor market provides a differential advantage in the Lehigh Valley, which has a good reputation for people that want to work and know how to work hard, says Kevin Turner, executive director and logistics specialist with Cushman & Wakefield.”

The issue also highlights several new projects in the Lehigh Valley, including FedEx Ground’s 800,000 square-foot facility in Allen Township, Amazon.com’s 1.1 million square-foot facility in Palmer Township, and the 475,800 square-foot LogistiCenter at 33 in Forks Township. Several real estate professionals weighed in on these projects:

Peter Corcoran, senior director of leasing and development for Liberty Property Trust’s New Jersey operations, said: “33 Logistics Park is located on the east side of the Lehigh Valley. This location provides unrivaled access to the highly populated New York City metropolitan area, along with ready access to I-78, I-81, and I-80, enabling access to 40 percent of the population of the United States and Canada within one day’s drive. Demand by distribution companies for space in the Lehigh Valley continues to be strong because of the access it provides to such a large portion of American consumers.”

Gene Preston, partner with Dermody Properties, said: “Over the past 15 years, the Lehigh Valley has evolved into one of the nation’s leading distribution locations. The east side of the Lehigh Valley offers distribution operations easy access to the Greater New York City/Tri-state population base, with easy access along I-78 to the Port Newark/Elizabeth, and the new four-way interchange at Route 33 and Main Street enhances access to the LogistiCenter site.”

Joe Zingaro, vice president of Clarion Partners, said: “The Lehigh Valley market is a key logistical location with a good supply of skilled labor and relatively low operating costs. Demand for Class A institutional warehouse space is currently outpacing supply.”

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