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Global food co. builds distribution center in Tatamy

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A national real estate developer is building a food and beverage distribution center in Tatamy, a $10 million project that could bring up to 150 jobs near the Route 33 interchange project under construction.

Becknell Industrial, headquartered in Lyons, Ill., has started construction on a 100,000-square foot distribution and warehouse center for Mondelez International, a global company that manufacturers snack brands that include Nabisco, Oreo and Cadbury Chocolate, according to Deanne Werkheiser, secretary for Tatamy Borough.

Becknell Industrial is both the general contractor and property owner, Werkheiser said. The company is using local subcontractors and plans to finish the distribution center in March, she said.

“We’re largely tenant-driven; our tenants typically guide us to where they want to be,” said Mark Shapland, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Becknell Industrial. “We looked at several sites.”

At 120 Commerce Lane, the project is in close proximity to the Porsche Logistics site, which opened in 2009 as a parts distribution, technical training and development facility.

Shapland said the location offered great access to highways and that the project would bring a lot of construction jobs to the area. As a build-to-suit developer, Becknell performs the construction work and typically hires local trades to do some work, he said.

Overall construction costs are expected to be “in excess of $7 million to $8 million,” Shapland said.

According to Northampton County commercial property records, the company bought the property in August for $2,197,800.

The project is in Tatamy and, therefore, outside the tax increment financing district, which is being used as an incentive by local developer Charles Chrin to fuel commercial and industrial development in Chrin Commerce Center, an industrial park in neighboring Palmer Township.

Tatamy officials welcomed the project.

“The Chrin Commerce Center will bring with it an opportunity to help secure Tatamy’s future,” said Chris Moren, the borough’s acting mayor. “It is estimated that the Becknell project will bring 75 to 100 jobs in the borough, with the potential to grow to 150.

“We welcome and are looking forward to working with the folks at Becknell, along with other potential developers and landowners, as they bring their businesses and jobs to Tatamy.”

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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