Center City Allentown Construction To Bring 900 Jobs

English: City of Allentown

English: City of Allentown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The concrete foundation of Allentown‘s $272 million arena complex has begun to rise at Seventh and Hamilton streets, along with the number of yellow-vested construction workers.

It is a welcome sight to an army of local tradesmen whose livelihoods took a beating in the Great Recession.

For ironworker Carl Graves, 33, of Easton, the arena project didn’t just put him back to work in a tough construction market, it gave him his family back.

With construction in the Lehigh Valley at a near halt the past four years, Graves has had to accept jobs as far as 100 miles away. During his six months working on a job at New York University Medical Center last year, the four-hour round-trip commute left him little time to spend with his wife and sons, ages 5 and 1.

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Majestic Developer Plans 1.75 Million-Square-Foot Warehouse At Former Bethlehem Steel Site

California billionaire Ed Roski Jr.’s company plans to build what could become the Lehigh Valley‘s largest warehousing facility on a remote part of the former Bethlehem Steel plant.

Plans scheduled to go before the Bethlehem Planning Commission next week show a 1.75 million-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing facility at 3215 Commerce Center Blvd.

That’s nearly 50 percent bigger than the 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse Liberty Property Trust built last year on another portion of the former plant, and nearly twice as big as the Nestle warehouse off Interstate 78 in Lehigh County.

Pete Reinke, vice president of business development at Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., said he knew of no other warehouse in the Valley bigger than what Majestic is proposing.

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Macungie To Revisit Downtown Improvement Plan

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tom Bartholomew took a bold step when he decided to move his insurance agency from a Lower Macungie strip mall to downtown Macungie, a relocation that is costing him a “substantial” amount of money.

“The [Macungie] building makes a statement,” Bartholomew said. “It’s a 200-year-old building that has stood the test of time. It kind of makes a statement to your clients if you have an investment in your own business.”

Bartholomew and other Macungie business owners are hoping borough officials are willing to make a similar statement. They’ve asked Borough Council to revive its discussion of a downtown “streetscape” plan that has generated little steam since 2008, when a downtown study was completed.

Council decided recently to revisit the streetscape plan and hold a related workshop in March.

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Lehigh County Lands In Economic Growth Top 10

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A national economic development firm says Lehigh County is poised for rapid future economic growth and investment.

The Pittsburgh-based company, Fourth Economy, ranked the county seventh in the U.S. among “large-sized” counties with populations between 150,000 and 499,999.

The company ranked counties based on investment, talent, sustainability, place and diversity, and looked at wage and employment growth, education levels, drive times, home values, minority business ownership, agricultural and manufacturing capacity and population density.

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Water Bottling Company To Locate New Facility In Lehigh Valley

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ice River Springs Water Co., Inc will locate its new bottling and manufacturing facility in the Lehigh Valley and create 49 new jobs, according to an announcement today by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Ice River Springs, with facilities in seven locations in the United States and Canada, will lease an existing 100,000 square-foot facility in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, with an option to purchase after one year.

The company will invest $21 million in leasehold improvements, new equipment and employee training and has committed to creating at least 49 new jobs within the next three years, the press release said.

Ice River Springs Water Co. Executive Vice President Sandy Gott said the new site “is a great location for our business, it has access to key markets for us, allowing us to locate closer to our customers.”

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Sharp Corp. Wants To Expand In Upper Macungie Township

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sharp Corporation wants to expand its operations at its pharmaceutical packaging location in Fogelsville, company represenattives told the Upper Macungie Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Sharp plans to add floor space to its existing building where it will build multiple clean rooms used to package drugs for a variety of clients.

Paul A. Szewczak, an executive with Liberty Engineering, Inc., Sharp will also remodel an adjacent 25,000 square foot building on Keebler Way and use that additional space for production.

According to Szewczak, Boyle Construction Management will build the addition to the structure formerly occupied by the Keebler Company. He said construction would be done in two phases, with remodeling of the existing building being the first phase.  Work on the project will start after Jan. 1.

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