About 450 people attended the sold-out March of Dimes Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Awards breakfast this morning at the DeSales University Center in Upper Saucon Township.
This year’s recipients are: L. Charles Marcon as Individual/Organization of the Year and Hamilton Crossings for Project of the Year.
For more than two decades, this event has honored individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the local community, as well as the projects that have helped create jobs and advance economic development in the Lehigh Valley.
Proceeds from the awards breakfast will benefit the March of Dimes Northeast Pennsylvania Market. The organization’s mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
All of the people on the committee work in some aspect of commercial real estate and they create a list of nominees, then narrow it down and vote, said Tracy Trapp, development manager for the Northeast Pennsylvania market for the March of Dimes in Hanover Township, Northampton County.
These individuals, companies, and projects have made a significant impact on the Lehigh Valley economy, while simultaneously raising money and awareness for an important organization that has touched the lives of countless children for more than 75 years, said Christa Kraftician, committee chairwoman.
With Hamilton Crossings, The Goldenberg Group and TCH Development have transformed a blighted former mine site into a retail project that opened in 2016, creating hundreds of jobs and more than $1 million in new property tax revenue.
“The project is absolutely impacting the whole Lehigh Valley,” Kraftician said. “It’s going to bring more retail to the valley.”
The development, which took several years to come to fruition, brought the first Costco Wholesale Club and Whole Foods Market into the valley.
Though the stability of brick-and-mortar retail is in question now, Kraftician said certain types of retail make absolute sense. Big name stores such as Whole Foods, which is one anchor tenant at Hamilton Crossings, is an example of a store the valley never had before and could lead to more investment as it brings the retail focus to another area.
The massive retail center sits on 72 acres along the Route 222 Bypass in Lower Macungie Township and has 559,345 square-feet of retail.
Marcon is president of Duggan and Marcon Inc., a commercial finishes contractor in with an office in Allentown. Duggan joined the family construction business in 1967, and became its president in 1983, and helped establish it as one of the largest employers of construction workers in the region.
The company’s project portfolio includes the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Lehigh Valley Mall, and Allentown campus of St. Luke’s University Hospital. Additionally, Marcon has been active on numerous boards, with past affiliations including the Allentown YMCA, Communities in Schools of the Lehigh Valley, First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, Lehigh Valley Contractors Association, General Building Contractors Association of Philadelphia, Renew Lehigh Valley, and United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
“He has impacted quite a lot of projects in the Lehigh Valley,” Kraftician said. “From the philanthropic aspect, he has been involved in a lot of things in the Lehigh Valley.”
The event featured a video created by ubiFire featuring important development projects in the Lehigh Valley and introducing the Project of the Year, Hamilton Crossings.
Click HERE to view it.