Tuesday, August 23, 2016

East Penn Manufacturing, Verizon to occupy space in Lower Macungie warehouses

By Brian Pedersen Lehigh Valley Business
East Penn Manufacturing and Verizon are among the tenants headed to new warehouse space in Liberty Business Center II, a group of warehouses under construction in Lower Macungie Township near Alburtis.

East Penn will lease space in a warehouse in the Alburtis area, starting this fall, said Joel Brady, spokesman for the Berks County battery manufacturer. This facility will be used as a distribution center to support the company’s existing Topton distribution facility, he said.

The company will transfer existing employees to this facility as well as hire new employees, he said.

He declined to say how many employees would be at the site.

Property owner Liberty Property Trust, which has an office in Bethlehem, also signed two tenants for one of the warehouses, a 1.2 million-square-foot-facility.

Jeanne Leonard, spokeswoman for Liberty Property Trust, confirmed it has leased both warehouses under construction at Spring Creek Properties, but declined to provide additional information.

The 1.2 million-square-foot-warehouse is for Ryder System Inc., a logistics group, which will contract with Verizon, said Sara Pandl, director of planning and community development for Lower Macungie Township.

The facilities are on Congdon Hill Drive off Spring Creek Road, one mile from the Route 222 Bypass.

Liberty Business Center II will have five warehouses once complete, Pandl said. Four have received approval. The next warehouse under construction is 650,000 square feet, Pandl said.

Last month, construction began on the third warehouse/distribution center, a 1.1 million square-foot-facility expected to be finished by April 2017.

The Liberty Business Center II development is the latest example of the township’s considerable growth in industrial and commercial projects.

“From a development perspective, it certainly changes the landscape but it also does bring in new tax revenues,” said Becky Bradley, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. “It does bring in jobs. Lower Macungie does not have very much greenfield [undeveloped] land to be developed; they are very interested in preserving green space.”

She also said the township has many redevelopment opportunities for its properties.

Hamilton Crossings is perhaps the last lifestyle center to open in the Lehigh Valley, she said.

This project, a 570,000-square-foot shopping center, also in Lower Macungie Township near Route 100 and the Route 222 Bypass, opened in July.

Additional distribution growth is also on the way in neighboring Upper Macungie Township with Liberty at Mill Creek. This Liberty Property Trust project, at the southwest corner of Mill Creek Road and the Route 222 Bypass, is where two buildings totaling 1.6 million square feet of distribution space are going up for Uline.

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