The Lehigh Valley was in the spotlight during a national commercial and industrial real estate conference in New Jersey on Thursday.
The Lehigh Valley was one of just two regions from throughout the U.S. selected as an emerging market at the I.CON 2014 Industrial Conference for Real Estate.
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Don Cunningham was in Jersey City, N.J., representing the Lehigh Valley at the conference. He called the recognition a great opportunity.
“We were able to tell our story of economic success and revitalization to more than 500 key industrial and commercial real estate brokers and development leaders from across the United States and Canada," Cunningham said. "It was probably worth more than $300,000 in marketing for the region.”
At the event, he touted the region’s strong economic growth.
“The Lehigh Valley has a $33 billion economy spread across many diversified industry sectors,” Cunningham noted. “We have more than 300,000 people employed at 15,300 companies, and that makes us the 68th largest metropolitan area in the entire country.”
Cunningham was one of two panelists for a session on “Anticipation, Expectation and Performance of Emerging Markets.”
He was joined by Russell Held, the senior vice president of business development for the Virginia Port Authority.
Speaking at the event, Cunningham told the audience, made up of national industrial and commercial and real estate brokers and site selection consultants, that the Lehigh Valley has been “emerging” rapidly during the last decade.
“The Lehigh Valley is one of the fastest growing regions in the country because of its solid economic foundation and assets,” Cunningham said. “We anticipate this trend to continue because of our location, cost competitiveness, workforce, quality of life and available development sites.”
Cunningham also reported more than 27 million square feet of development are now proposed in the Lehigh Valley market.