PA: Bethlehem Business Park Project Creates 3,400 Jobs, $370M Investment
31 Jan, 2018
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin joined local leaders and economic development professionals to celebrate the creation of 3,450 jobs through a massive revitalization project that redeveloped the former Bethlehem Steel site and was supported by the Business in Our Sites (BOS) program.
“This project is a great example of what happens when we invest in our communities,” Secretary Davin said. “Ten years ago, this site was unusable, taking up space with no benefit to the area. Today, it is a flourishing commerce center housing thriving businesses and employing more than 3,400 workers. The Wolf Administration will continue to aggressively invest in our communities which leads to more jobs and helps spur further economic development.”
The $10 million loan, along with a $5 million grant, was issued to the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Inc. (LVIP) in 2006 to redevelop the former Bethlehem Steel site, and was repaid in full in September 2017. The site required construction of new water, sewer, and stormwater systems, as well as new utilities, roadways, sidewalks, and curbs. The site also needed extensive environmental remediation. Today, the business park, now known as LVIP VII, houses 23 businesses including Curtiss-Wright, Walmart.com, and Primark, as well as a combined 3,450 employees. It also spurred 4.5 million square feet of build-out and approximately $370 million in private investment.
“With the assistance of the commonwealth’s Business in Our Sites program, LVIP has converted one of the largest brownfield sites in the nation into an extraordinary center of business,” said Kerry A. Wrobel, president of LVIP. “LVIP VII today has far exceeded our expectations. We are so proud of the businesses who have built in LVIP VII creating thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in new investment.”
The BOS program empowers communities to attract growing and expanding businesses by helping them build an inventory of ready sites. Approved projects can use the funding for any site development activities that are required to make the site shovel-ready. The sites must be previously utilized property or undeveloped property that is planned and zoned for development.
In 2016, Governor Wolf recapitalized the BOS program, which infused $75 million from underutilized programs into the fund. The increased funding enables the CFA to support a significantly larger number of projects to assist with business development efforts in Pennsylvania.
Though the program is currently not accepting applications, more information on the BOS program can be found on the DCED website. And, be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.