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LVEDC Hosts Discussion Among Lehigh Valley’s Real Estate Leaders

By Colin McEvoy on November 19, 2019

2019 Brokers and Developers Council 1

LVEDC hosted a gathering of the region’s commercial and industrial real estate leaders.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) hosted a gathering of the region’s real estate leaders on Nov. 14 for a discussion about economic development and insights about the regional commercial and industrial real estate markets.

“We wanted to sit down with some of you who are out there on the front lines to understand what you see going on our there in the Lehigh Valley market,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “We want to understand the challenges you’ve faced, the strengths you’ve seen in the market, and hear your thoughts on what we as an economic development organization ought to be focused on.”

More than two dozen people attended the gathering at Melt in the Promenade Shops in Upper Saucon Township, where Cunningham led a discussion among the real estate professionals, and provided an overview of the Lehigh Valley economy and trends in regional development.

Among the companies represented at the program were JLL, NAI Summit, CBRE, J.G. Petrucci, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Rockefeller Group, JVI, Duggan & Marcon, PennCap Properties, and others.

2019 Brokers and Developers Council 2

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham speaking to the more than two dozen attendees.

Cunningham said 16 of 38 currently active LVEDC projects fall within the manufacturing industry. This reflects a high demand for small-footprint manufacturing and flex space in the 40,000 to 100,000 square foot range, for which there is currently a shortage in Lehigh Valley.

“The number of people we have looking for this size range greatly exceeds the number of end users we have looking for 1 million square feet,” Cunningham said. “But right now, we don’t have the product to do that. Whatever can be done to create more speculative industrial  flex, it can be met.”

Brian Knowles, principal with Lee & Associates, said he has been using surveys to track industrial projects for 10 years, and that for the first time in that time, Lehigh Valley has more active projects than the Central Pennsylvania region.

The regional office market was also discussed. Jill Wheeler, Vice President of Sales & Marketing with City Center Allentown, noted that younger audiences are increasingly seeking smaller spaces in apartments. She stressed that the region should continue to tell and diversity Lehigh Valley’s story and draw attention to the urban cores available in the region.

One of the ways to do so is through Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a new marketing initiative launched by LVEDC to share the success stories of the people and companies in our region and market Lehigh Valley as an attractive location for businesses and talent

Attendees were also provided the first copies of the new Lehigh Valley Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Report, which was released Nov. 14. Published by LVEDC, the report provides an overview of the region’s industrial, office, and flex markets, as well as major transactions and other economic data.

The Lehigh Valley industrial market has grown to 124 million square feet as of the third quarter of 2019, with 2 million square feet in deliveries in 2019 so far and 6.4 million square feet more under construction. The Lehigh Valley office market currently includes 27.37 million square feet, with 629,000 square feet more under construction.

Cunningham also highlighted recent major industrial and office deliveries in the Lehigh Valley. On the office side, that includes the the 295,000 square-foot Five City Center building in Allentown, where ADP recently held a ribbon-cutting for its campus for 1,000 employees.

Industrial deliveries include the Park 100 Building A (730,000 square feet) in Upper Macungie Township, 2900 Brodhead Road (515,000 SF) in Bethlehem Township, Rockefeller Lehigh Valley Building B (290,000 SF) near the Lehigh Valley International Airport, and Carson 33 Building A (140,000 SF) in Palmer Township.

Report: Lehigh Valley Remains an In-Demand Market for Manufacturing, Industrial Development

The latest issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Report is out, highlighting some of the recent activity that has continued to demonstrate the[...]

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