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LVEDC to be Featured at Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference

By Colin McEvoy on June 20, 2018

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) will be well represented at this year’s Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference, the state’s largest and most prestigious conference about environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment.

LVEDC submitted three abstracts as topics of possible discussion, and all three were accepted and will be featured at the conference, according to Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs.

Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs

Andrew Kleiner, LVEDC Director of Redevelopment and External Affairs

“I think this speaks to the strength of LVEDC’s redevelopment program and the success we’ve experienced with revitalizing brownfields here in the Lehigh Valley,” Kleiner said. “I believe we have one of the strongest redevelopment programs that you’ll find, and I look forward to telling people more about it at the conference.”

The conference will be held in the Lehigh Valley this year, at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3. The theme of this year’s event is “Creating Community Assets: Working with What You Have.”

Kleiner, who will be speaking at the conference, leads LVEDC’s redevelopment program, the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), an advisory group focused on promoting economic redevelopment through the reuse of abandoned and underutilized commercial and industrial properties, also known as brownfields.

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham will also be speaking at the conference.

One of the abstracts submitted by the LVEDC and accepted for the conference included “Inside the Renaissance: New Urban Connections Through Trails on Former Brownfields in Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton.”

The two others abstracted submitted by LVEDC included “The Slate Belt YMCA: Transforming a Brownfield into a Central Community Asset in a Smaller Community,” and “A Look at Adaptive Reuse in the Lehigh Valley: Transforming Brownfields into Hubs for Innovation.”

Those two abstracts will be combined into a single session about transforming former industrial buildings into centers for innovation, as well as the story – from assessment to activity – of the redevelopment of a former railroad repair shop into a YMCA in Pen Argyl.

LVEDC provided financial assistance for the Slate Belt YMCA project through an EPA assessment grant, as well as helping secure a Targeted Brownfields Assessment through LVLRI, Kleiner said.

LVEDC and LVLRI have been featured multiple times at previous Pennsylvania Brownfield Conference events, as well as the National Brownfields Conference. LVLRI was one of 150 programs from around the world selected to present at the conference in 2015, from a highly competitive field of about 425 applicants.

Redevelopment in the Lehigh Valley was also in the spotlight at a recent site tour and networking event, in which dozens of developers, environmental consultants, location consultants, and economic development professionals visited the region to learn about its many redevelopment success stories.

The upcoming Pennsylvania Brownfields Conference is being organized by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP).

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