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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 20, 2015

LVPC's Becky Bradley Predicts S. Bethlehem and Allen Tp as Next Boomtowns

Right now, I look more like a boiled lobster than a human being. The unforgiving Sportsfest Sun dd a number on me this weekend. So though I want to give you a full report on what the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission's Beck Bradley had to say to Northampton County, this will be an abridged version.

She has no crystal ball, but Bradley told Northampton County Council that she expects business to boom in South Bethlehem and Allen Township.

South Bethlehem.- An expansion of the Panama Canal is nearing completion that is going to allow much more freight come up the Eastern Seaboard. Because seaports have no land to expand, she believes places like South Bethlehem will become inland rail ports for large amounts of international freight.

Allen Township. - The Fed Ex facility along Rte 248, she believes, is going to help the airport by allowing for more air freight, and should also result in a large number of businesses.

Neither of these business ideas is depended on a NIZ, CRIZ, KOZ or TIF. So they just might work.

11:15 am: A local expert, who shall remain nameless, tells me the following:

My students researched the impact of the widening of the Panama Canal 4 years ago.

Essentially, nothing coming from the Pacific Rim that is destined for east of the Mississippi will be off-loaded on the West Coast (and trucked or railfreighted east). Instead, cargo superships will transit the Canal to ports everywhere along the Gulf and Eastern Seaboard (Galveston, New Orleans, Miami, Charleston, SC, Norfolk, Newark, Elizabeth, Boston and Portland, ME look to be the big winners).

That's good business for East Coast ports (I've heard one estimate that Long Beach, CA alone stands to lose about 40,000 port jobs). But, because many of those East Coast ports lack the real estate (and other infrastructure) nearby to accommodate the additional goods they will receive, most goods will be on containers that will be off-loaded and shipped by rail to regional intermodal hubs (like the one in South Bethlehem near I-78). From there, the goods will travel (usually only a short distance) to a distribution facility where they will go in one side and out the other (loaded on to trucks after sorting by destination). That's why Ed Roske is planning almost 10 million sq ft of distribution facilities in South Bethlehem. Probably also why Charlie Chrin built an interchange on 33.

Interestingly, Ohio looks to get a huge piece of the action as goods destined for the Midwest will probably be sorted there.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

She also believes we have a sh--load of truck traffic coming our way.

Anonymous said...

We need more warehouses to go with the trucks.

Anonymous said...

Wearhouses and truck traffic, the future is so bright I have to wear shades.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Have you recently driven through S.Bethlehem? The traffic is a nightmare. So now more trucks and visitor buses?

Anonymous said...

more trucks, more ricans, more asian invasion - just what bethslum needs

John Blankstein said...

Becky's observations are interesting and make a lot of sense though matching global trends to local developments is a tricky. I think she's right that both these areas will see more businesses coming in to take advantage of intermodal. And I think South Bethlehem will see more residential but there are other pull factors there. My guess is that new jobs into Allen wont drive more residential just there but spread over several municipalities on both sides of the river along both 329 and 145. Really fascinating point about the Panama Canal though I've gotta think that through some more.

Anonymous said...

Unless Third Street is demolished, traffic travels in one lane near New. It is almost impossible for pedestrians to safely cross this intersection.

Anonymous said...

more trucks, more ricans, more asian invasion - just what bethslum needs

You're one miserable xenophobe, eh? Have a nice day - it sounds like your best years are behind you. Glad I'm not you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"She also believes we have a sh--load of truck traffic coming our way."

True.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One point about the Chrin comment, which does look like warehouse heaven right now. There are 1,000 acres at that site, but only 250 are zoned for warehouses, along the prerimeter. The rest will be business.

Anonymous said...

THE WORST kind of fucking development!!!

Anonymous said...

First off I support the FedEx project, but I will say this. The Nor-bath trail should be scraped from Keystone Cement all the way to where this project is and rail lines put back in. FedEx Ground (and UPS) uses intermodal rail cars to move trailers across the country. Trailers loaded up from the west coast hubs could be loaded onto train cars and be sent directly to the new hub here. It wouldn't eliminate all the truck traffic but it would take some off the road.

One of the biggest mistakes we made is the changing of old rail lines into bike paths when they knew the kind of growth we were exoecting

Hank_Hill

AuH20 said...

Has anybody ever studied the ratio of the number of jobs per 1,000 square feet of warehouse space? Some of these places are nothing but a couple of guys at a panel directing computer-driven forklifts around the floor. My first exposure to this 'look at all the jobs' lie was the old Keebler building in Fogelsville.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your point is well-taken and has been made for decades.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Hi Becky, how are you DOING NOW/ Well,I am fine and I say Tatamy and Stockertown,PA. are going to skyrocket in real estate prices . 5,000 people will have JOBS across the street ! I can't believe your still employed anywhere at this point.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie please call me ----- my number is 610-248-0212 I want to talk about the issue of tax free properties and point mt finger at Lafayette College about they way they erase the properties from NCPUB.ORG forcing directives ti GIS ! We are getting shellacked as tax payers her by the undercover issues I will refrain from here.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Sorry use 610-248-0212 my dementia has worked again .

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tried the number and it just rang.