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Lehigh Valley Listed Among 10 Industrial Real Estate Markets to Watch

By George Lewis on February 8, 2019

The Lehigh Valley was among the top 10 industrial real estate markets to watch in a recent research report published by a leading global real estate services company.

Toronto-based Colliers International identified the Lehigh Valley as one of the U.S. markets that will “provide the most opportunity for both investors and occupiers” in 2019.

Listed fourth among the 10 markets highlighted in the report, the Lehigh Valley provides quick access to some of the largest population centers in the U.S. Colliers noted that 62 million people, including nearly 13 million between the ages of 18 and 34, live within 250 miles of the Lehigh Valley’s core.

Steve Cooper, a senior managing director of Colliers’ regional Logistics and Transportation Solutions Group serving the Lehigh Valley and Central Pennsylvania, said ongoing growth and development place the Lehigh Valley solidly within the top five industrial real estate markets in the country, and make the region a magnet for manufacturing, distribution and logistics.

“The Lehigh Valley’s location, labor force and infrastructure provide a positive environment and ‘perfect storm’ for the development of regional distribution centers,” Cooper said. “The Lehigh Valley ended 2018 with the sixth consecutive year of robust activity, and we expect it to stay that way for the foreseeable future.”

Among the Lehigh Valley’s advantages cited in the Colliers report is Lehigh Valley International Airport, which is ranked the fastest growing cargo airport in the country. Colliers also referred to the Lehigh Valley’s access to nearby Philadelphia International Airport, which is one of the 20 largest cargo airports in the country, and proximity to the ports of New York-New Jersey, Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Because of all the recent development, about 30 percent of industrial space in the Lehigh Valley is less than 6 years old, the report said. Yet even with that growth, vacancy rates remain low: 4.5 percent overall and 1.6 percent for industrial buildings larger than 500,000 square feet in 2018.

“As occupiers continue to expand their footprint to service the highest populated region in the country, Lehigh Valley will continue to be a sought-after market,” the report said.

Other markets in Colliers’ top 10 are Greenville, SC; the Orlando-Tampa region in Florida; Las Vegas; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Sacramento; Savannah, GA; Seattle; the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia; and St. Louis. Click here to view the full report.

Colliers International is a real estate services and investment management company operating in 69 countries with more than 13,000 employees, $2.3 billion in annual revenues, and more than $25 billion in assets under management. It has a Lehigh Valley office in Upper Macungie Township.

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