LVEDC Hosts Lehigh Valley Bus Tour for Site Selectors, Commercial Real Estate Brokers
By Colin McEvoy on June 8, 2018
For a second consecutive year, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) hosted a visit and tour of the Lehigh Valley for dozens of site selectors, commercial real estate brokers, and other business location decision-makers.
LVEDC organized a sold-out June 6 bus tour for about four dozen registrants from “I.CON ’18: The Industrial Conference,” a major conference for the industrial real estate sector hosted in Jersey City this week by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
This was the only pre-conference bus tour associated with the NAIOP event, and for the second year in a row, LVEDC had a waiting list of industrial professionals who wished to participate in it and see the region, according to LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.
“We had a rare opportunity to showcase the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to people directly involved in business location decisions,” Cunningham said. “This just further demonstrates that the Lehigh Valley is part of the development discussion among some of the biggest names in real estate in the United States and the world.”
In addition to the bus tour, LVEDC was a gold sponsor for the conference and one of the few economic development corporations in the country to attend it, giving LVEDC a nearly exclusive opportunity to market the Lehigh Valley to an attentive audience of hundreds of real estate developers, brokers, site selectors and business location consultants.
The bus tour started at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, which included remarks from Cunningham and Justin Ryan, Director of Business Development at Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, Inc. (LVIP).
They discussed the history of Bethlehem Steel in the area, the development that was created in the wake of Bethlehem Steel’s closing, and how the city made it possible for the land to be easily redeveloped, using existing infrastructure to support manufacturing and distribution.
Afterwards, the bus took attendees to industrial parks in South Bethlehem, including LVIP VII and the Majestic Bethlehem Center, part of the redeveloped 1,800 acres of land formerly owned by Bethlehem Steel. They also visited the Bethlehem intermodal yard, which has been discussed as a possible future site for a Port of New York and New Jersey inland port.
The bus tour concluded with a visit to Vastex, a manufacturer and distributor of manufacturer screen-printing equipment for the garment textile industry, which is located within LVIP VII. The company broke ground on its 37,500 square-foot facility last year.
Participants in the bus tour come from such companies as Atisa Industrial, Colliers International, Cornerstone Advisers, D’Agostini Companies, Harvard Property Trust, HFF, Hines, JLL, LaSalle Investment Management, LatAm Logistic Properties, Newmark Knight Frank, Oxford Properties Group, QuadReal Property Group, Realty Income Corporation, and more.
In addition to the bus tour, several representatives of LVEDC also attended the NAIOP I.CON ’18: The Industrial Conference, including Matthew Tuerk, Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing; Jarrett Witt, Director of Business Development; and Doug Warfel, Director of Business Recruitment.
The conference, which ran from June 7 to June 8, included presentations and tours of New York Center for Innovation, Global Container Terminals, the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Robbinsville, N.J., and a waterside tour of the Port of New York and New Jersey.
The event also included strategic networking sessions with top producers and industry veterans, expert speakers about talent and recruitment in commercial real estate, and sessions about such topics as insights into global capital flows, labor considerations in site selection, the future of flex distribution facilities, and industrial trends and market shifts.
Additionally, a fireside chat keynote was delivered by Gary Anderson, Prologis’ CEO for Europe and Asia, and Mark Eppli, Ph.D., Professor of Finance and Bell Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University. They discussed the state of global industrial development and their predictions for the big upsets to come in technology, politics and the economy.
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