Pharmaceutical Company Expanding in Lehigh Valley with Help from Loan
By Colin McEvoy on January 13, 2015
An Allentown-based pharmaceutical manufacturer is expanding and opening a second facility in the city, thanks in part to financing assistance from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC).
Lehigh Valley Technologies, Inc. is purchasing a 39,000 square-foot building it has previously been renting at 700 North Fenwick Street, which will allow them to expand its current operations, increasing mass production of its existing products as well as significantly increasing its product line.
“We have a really great group of employees here and really enjoy working in the Lehigh Valley,” said Larry Dalesandro, CFO of Lehigh Valley Technologies. “We appreciate the opportunity to continue our operations in Allentown and the state of Pennsylvania, and expect great things in our future.”
The $5 million project will be assisted by a $2.25 million Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan, which was administered by the LVEDC and approved by the state on last week.
The expansion will allow Lehigh Valley Technologies to create 52 new full-time jobs within the next three years, in addition to the 36 full-time workers currently employed there.
“Manufacturing companies in the range of 50 to 100 employees are a crucial element of the Lehigh Valley economy, and we’re very pleased the LVEDC has been able to assist businesses like these,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC president and CEO. “Just recently we saw Straight Arrow Products break ground on their expansion thanks in part to a PIDA loan, and I’m glad to see that another excellent company, Lehigh Valley Technologies, is able to benefit from this same financing program.”
Lehigh Valley Technologies plans to formally obtain the building and begin renovations within the next few months. The project will take about six months to complete, and the company hopes to be fully operational in the new facility by early 2016.
Currently, the facility is used only for storage of unused equipment. After the renovation project, it will provide additional warehousing, packaging, manufacturing and office space. The project will bring the building up to the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and allow the manufacturing of products in a more cost-effective manner, according to the company.
Lehigh Valley Technologies will continue to operate out of their existing 33,000 square-foot facility on North 12th Street in Allentown. The second facility is needed to accommodate the significant growth the company has experienced since first forming in 1999.
The project was one of seven approved for a total of $5.7 million in low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority last week, which Gov. Tom Corbett touted as a sign of the success of House Bill 1550, legislation signed in October to create a streamlined process for Pennsylvania business financing needs.
“The approvals this month by the PIDA board showcase the immediate streamlined approval process executed through House Bill 1550 and we’re happy to announce 157 new jobs through the approved projects,” Corbett said.
Lehigh Valley Technologies researches, develops and sells prescription drugs, oral solutions and solid dose products. They have wholesale and retail customers throughout the country, including Rite Aid Pharmacy, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health.
Starting at a distributor of over-the-counter products, they later moved into manufacturing and received approval from the FDA in recent years to make new pharmaceutical drugs, and was one of the first in the U.S. approved to manufacture and distribute oxycodone hydrochloride in oral solution and capsule dosage form.
PIDA, one of several financing programs LVEDC administers, offers low-interest loans through industrial development corporations to businesses for land and building acquisition, construction and renovations that results in the creation or preservation of jobs.
The 15-year PIDA loan at 2.5 percent will be used for a portion of architectural, engineering and professional fees, as well as the purchase of the building. The Whitehall Township-based Chiles & Sullivan will be the general contractor, while H.T. Lyons of Upper Macungie Township will handle the electrical and HVAC work.
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