Saturday, April 13, 2013

Developers buy last Bethlehem Steel tract

An investment group has purchased an 88-acre tract of the former Bethlehem Steel plant for $3.6 million with plans to build warehouses on the property.

The land, a remote tract that had been part of Steel's coke works slag pile, is the last to be sold off by ArcelorMittal, which acquired Steel's assets in 2003 under the name Mittal Steel.

The investment group is led by John Tallarico of Bethlehem and Scott Hummel of Philadelphia. Tallarico said the property likely would support four 400,000-square-foot warehouses, small versions of the big-box warehouses being built in the adjacent Majestic Bethlehem and Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII business parks.
"It's a great location near Interstate 78 and the improvements to Route 412," Tallarico said. "That area is really starting to blossom."

Earlier this year, city planners approved plans for a 677,000-square-foot warehouse at LVIP VII and a 1.7 million square-foot building at Majestic. Last year, Liberty Property Trust built a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse in LVIP VII and also has plans for an 800,000-square-foot one.

Tallarico said the land opened up recently when Majestic, owned by California billionaire Ed Roski Jr.'s company, extended the Northampton County-built Commerce Center Boulevard deeper into the former plant.

The 88 acres is just south of the Majestic site and faces the Crayola distribution center that opened at Majestic earlier this year.

Tallarico said that back part would require some environmental remediation but the front part is "shovel-ready."
Neither Majestic nor LVIP VII is fully built out yet.

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