Late last year, OCS Logistics, a third-party logistics provider, bought the former Paris Accessories plant in Allentown for $4.1 million. Now, the company has renovated a portion of the 275,000-square-foot-facility and is planning to revitalize the entire building into an economically viable distribution hub.
Situated on about 15 acres along Interstate 78 near the Lehigh Street exit, the new OCS Logistics facility serves regional and national distribution customers.
“We are very strong proponents of sustainability,” said Carlos P. Navarro, executive vice president of OCS Logistics. “One of [our] customers … is Dannon yogurt, and they are very strong in sustainability.”
OCS has been an active operation at the site since January and is now doing full distribution with a 6 ˝-day shift.
Increased job growth is expected as building modifications are completed.
The company employs 60 to 65 people. As business development occurs, OCS could have as many as 100 to 120 people working at any given time, said Navarro.
“If we develop the rest of the building, it’s heavily labor intensive,” said Navarro. “We could double or triple that number.”
Instead of doing new construction, OCS Logistics selected to renovate and revitalize its Allentown facility. The company made major facility modifications to the building, including raising the roof height from 15-16 feet to nearly 30 feet to increase capacity for storage and distribution efficiencies.
Inside, Navarro said, the company stacked pallets on steel shelves about four high to add additional space.
“We couldn’t increase the square footage. We took a current structure to hopefully help support the Allentown area,” said Navarro. “Most of the folks who work there live in Allentown.”
The company also completed exterior renovations, including installing 30-foot, 6-inch thick panels with aluminum on both sides and foam insulation in the center to maintain the refrigeration component to trap all of the energy and heat in the building, said Navarro.
The company is hoping to expand the facility for future use, possibly raising the roof on the rest of the building and adding a frozen component area, depending on the customers that OCS attracts.
“We have approached the city for an occupancy lease for the remainder of the building,” Navarro said.
Amy Hawley, principal of Hawley Realty Inc. of Allentown, assisted both parties in the sale of the property.