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Can You Dig It

Open space is great, but so is a different kind of green

- Last modified: April 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

No doubt about it, we have it pretty good here in terms of building, construction and commercial real estate. And that's easy to forget, unless you're reminded – and often it's by people looking from the outside in.

That's the perspective recently shared at The Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Outlook and Awards Show.

With close proximity to major highways, lower taxes, increasing retail developments and several mixed-use projects in the works, commercial real estate is faring pretty well compared to New Jersey.

Sure we complain about the traffic on Route 22, and there are loads of problems with our aging infrastructure, but with the massive, long-awaited American Parkway Bridge now under construction in Allentown, the Route 412 widening in Bethlehem and the MacArthur Road ramps over Route 22 Whitehall in full swing, there's no denying that progress is being made. Could a widening of Route 22 to add multiple lanes be far behind? One can only hope.

All of this work helps business by attracting people who want to locate here – and that's something to be happy about.

As I drive around the Valley, I'm amazed at how fast things progress. What were once barren fields, under-used sites and brownfields are now hotspots of economic growth, with massive warehouses, giant manufacturing facilities and soon, towering office structures rising from the ground.

Open space is great, but so is a different kind of green.

Now we need jobs, and the construction progress seen throughout the region is showing that the Valley could just be getting warmed up. It's not perfect and probably won't be near the highs of 2007, if ever. But then, how could it?

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