Back

LVEDC Hosts Tour for Site Selectors, Commercial Real Estate Brokers

By Colin McEvoy on June 10, 2022

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) hosted a visit and bus tour of the Lehigh Valley for dozens of site selectors, commercial real estate brokers, and other business location decision-makers from outside the area.

LVEDC organized the tour on June 8 for more than two dozen registrants from I.CON East, a major conference for the industrial real estate sector hosted in Jersey City on June 8 and 9 by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

This pre-conference bus tour associated with the NAIOP event presented LVEDC a rare opportunity to showcase the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to people directly involved in business location decisions, according to LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

“We want the Lehigh Valley to be front-of-mind when site selectors are considering a business relocation or expansion, so having the chance to showcase the region like this is invaluable,” Cunningham said. “This tour 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.”

This marks the fourth time LVEDC has hosted a Lehigh Valley visit and bus tour in connection with I.CON East and NAIOP. This week’s tour marked the first time one had been held since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The visit began at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, where the participants heard presentations about the Lehigh Valley from Cunningham and from Ed Konjoyan, Senior Vice President of Majestic Realty Co.

“There are certain parts of the country, like the Sunbelt, that seem to have a reputation for being particularly business-friendly,” Konjoyan said. “We feel that the Lehigh Valley deserves the same reputation. In our experience, this region has proven to be very welcoming of partnership, investment, and job creation. ‘Made Possible in Lehigh Valley’ is certainly a fitting and accurate slogan.”

Afterward, the tour traveled to the Bethlehem headquarters of Cigars International, an online and catalog-based retailer of quality cigars, located at 1911 Spillman Drive in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park (LVIP) VII.

The Cigars International building is located within a significant brownfield redevelopment project on land formerly occupied by Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and the company announced last year it was nearly doubling its space, adding 100,000 square feet to the existing 113,500 square-foot facility.

The expansion provided more storage and humidor space, and included advanced material handling equipment and cutting-edge smart logistics features. These new features were on display during the tour.

Sarah Santos, President of Cigars International, was previously interviewed by LVEDC as part of its executive video interview series, which featured new corporate leaders from significant employers across the region. The interview can be watched on LVEDC’s YouTube channel or viewed below:

During his presentation, Cunningham provided an overview of the Lehigh Valley economy, including its $42.9 billion gross domestic product, its ranking as a Top 50 manufacturing market in the United States, and its 133 development projects from 2017 to 2021, resulting in $2 billion in investment and more than 13,500 new jobs created.

He highlighted several of the new major projects from 2021, including Cigars International, A.P. Deauville, Capital BlueCross, D. Gillette Industrial Services, Follett, Martin Guitar, Sharp, Stuffed Puffs, SunOpta, Yourway, and more.

A drive-through tour was provided of LVIP VII and the Majestic Bethlehem Center. Members of LVEDC’s development group were on hand to answer questions, including Vice President of Business Development and Attraction Kristin Cahayla-Hoffman, Director of Attraction and Lending Doug Warfel, and Director of Business Development Jarrett Witt.

The Majestic Bethlehem Center is a 441-acre business park at the intersection of Interstate 78 and Route 412 in Bethlehem, which has grown to more than 5,400 jobs and 5.7 million square-feet of buildings since 2007. Konjoyan said Pennsylvania, and the Lehigh Valley, proved to be a very business-friendly environment during the development of that park.

LVEDC was a sponsor of I.CON East, NAIOP’s premier event exclusively focused on the development, operation and expansion of industrial real estate. NAIOP comprises more than 19,000 members and provides advocacy, education, and business opportunities through its powerful North American network.

Lehigh Valley Internship Summit to be Held In-Person This Year

The fourth annual Lehigh Valley Internship Summit will be held next month, and it will again be held in person for the first time since 2019. The Internship Summit seek[...]

Continue to Next Page

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$43.3 Billion

2020 Gross Domestic Product

Investor Spotlight
City Center Lehigh Valley
Industry Spotlight

10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

Investor Spotlight
Lehigh Valley Health Network
By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

Investor Spotlight
Air Products
Investor Spotlight
Lehigh Valley Electricians
By the Numbers
$66,865

Median Household Income

Investor Spotlight
PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
676,700

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
347,612

Labor Force

Industry Spotlight

26.6% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

Investor Spotlight
Mack Trucks
Investor Spotlight
UGI
Investor Spotlight
Magestic Realty Co
Investor Spotlight
NFI
Industry Spotlight

14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

Investor Spotlight
Wells Fargo
By the Numbers
$7.1 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

Investor Spotlight
Truist
Industry Spotlight

69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

Investor Spotlight
Key Bank
Industry Spotlight

10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

Investor Spotlight
St. Lukes University Health Network
Industry Spotlight

82,270 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

Investor Spotlight
Workforce Board
By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

Investor Spotlight
FirstEnergy