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March of Dimes Real Estate Awards Honors Lehigh Valley Project, Developer

By Colin McEvoy on October 12, 2015

Nearly 500 people attended the 22nd annual March of Dimes Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Awards at DeSales University Center.

Nearly 500 people attended the 22nd annual March of Dimes Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Awards at DeSales University Center.

Nearly 500 people attended the 22nd annual March of Dimes Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Awards last week, which recognized Liberty Property Trust as Organization of the Year, and Ocean Spray Cranberries as Project of the Year.

For the last two decades, this prestigious event that has been honoring individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the local community, as well as the projects that have helped create jobs and advance economic development in the Lehigh Valley.

“We are very pleased to honor outstanding individuals, companies, and projects that have enhanced the region and made a significant impact on the Lehigh Valley economy,” said Leslie Morrone, committee chairwoman. “We’re also very happy to raise money for an organization that has touched the lives of countless children over the last 75 years.”

The event was held Oct. 9 at the DeSales University Center. The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has representation on the March of Dimes Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards Committee,

In 2014, Ocean Spray opened its newest beverage bottling facility in Upper Macungie Township. The 300,000 square-foot facility employs 180 individuals and produces about 40 percent of Ocean Spray’s North American beverage volume.

It is the Ocean Spray’s first plant in Pennsylvania and houses four production lines that can produce up to 40 million cases of product a year. Ocean Spray is a vibrant agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry and grapefruit growers in the United States, Canada, and Chile.

“We are thrilled and delighted to receive this award,” said Tim Haggerty, plant director for the Ocean Spray facility. “It can be a very acrid kind of relationship inside the business community in some places, but we have found nothing but the opposite here in the Lehigh Valley. We’ve had a tremendously warm reception from all the local businesses since we came here.”

Liberty Property Trust is a leader in commercial real estate, serving customers in the United States and United Kingdom through the development, acquisition, ownership, and management of superior office and industrial properties.

Liberty’s 105 million square foot portfolio includes more than 700 properties which provide office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities to 1,700 tenants. Across the Central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley region, Liberty owns more than 22 million square feet of space, including 7.8 million square feet in Central PA and 14.5 million in the Lehigh Valley.

The Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards committee was formed in 1993 by commercial and industrial real estate professionals in the Lehigh Valley, some of whom still serve. The event has grown to include a regularly sold-out crowd comprised of realtors, bankers, architects, construction professionals and other in the real estate community.

Over the past twenty years, they have come together to support the mission of the March of Dimes by raising money for funding research and programs to find causes of premature birth. National Penn Bank was the Event Sponsor for the 2015 event for the 11th consecutive year, with The Morning Call and ADAMS Outdoor Advertising as media sponsors.

Funds raised by the Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards help support life-saving research and educational programs in Pennsylvania. The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health, and has invested more than $3.6 million in mission programs in Pennsylvania and over $99 million nationwide.

Some of the March of Dimes’ programs include Centering Pregnancy (group model of prenatal care); smoking cessation education; Healthy Babies Are Worth the Wait (educational campaign to encourage women, if pregnancy is healthy, to wait until at least 39 weeks to deliver); and NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) Family Support.

Premature birth is the most serious infant health problem in the United States today. It touches nearly half a million babies and their families each year, including 1 in 9 babies in Pennsylvania. Babies born too soon are more likely to die or have disabilities.

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