The growth of restaurants in the Greater Lehigh Valley has spawned two recent developments in the food supply business.
Calumet Enterprises LLC, a division of Clark Associates Inc., headquartered in Lancaster, purchased a 4.2 acre property for $1.6 million from Republic-Bethlehem LP at 3155 Schoenersville Road in Bethlehem earlier this year, according to Frank Smith of NAI Summit.
The buyer is renovating the 42,000-square-foot industrial building on site and will use it for a new Restaurant Store.
The Restaurant Store is a website that serves as both a research and purchasing tool for those in the food service industry. The company has store locations in Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Reading, as well as Wilmington, Delaware and Baltimore, Md.
Meanwhile, ARCO Design/Build of Atlanta, Ga. and Philadelphia, is building Restaurant Depot, an additional nearby property at 2002 Industrial Drive near Burger King. According to the Bethlehem Planning Commission, the builder is constructing a 62,102-square-foot restaurant supply warehouse with parking spaces on a 5.2 acre lot.
“It’s not surprising for us to see Restaurant Depot, it’s very logical that they are locating off Schoenersville Road,” said Alicia Karner, director of community and economic development for Bethlehem. “It’s really good for Bethlehem.”
Access to Route 22 and other nearby highways makes for a prime site for this type of development, according to Karner.
Scenic Ridge Co. of Gordonville is building The Restaurant Store and both projects are several months away from completion, with Restaurant Depot having more work to complete, Karner said.
“That Schoenersville corridor has had a fair number of vacant industrial sites for some time,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.
LVEDC worked with NAI Summit to help land The Restaurant Store location, Cunningham said.
“We are pleased to see that The Restaurant Store has taken that property,” Cunningham said. “That has been vacant since the mid-90s, it was beginning to become an eyesore. It’s good commercial growth for Bethlehem.”
The service sector in general and the restaurant industry specifically has been a growing part of the Lehigh Valley, Cunningham said.
Representatives from The Restaurant Store and Restaurant Depot could not be reached for comment.
According to the Restaurant Depot website, the company is headquartered in College Point, New York, and has been supplying independent food businesses with products from large cash and carry warehouse stores since 1990.
A November opening is planned, according to the website.
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