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Agency among firms finding fresh space in Allentown

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Lehigh Mining & Navigation relocated into an office in Tower 6 in downtown Allentown last week.
(contributed) Lehigh Mining & Navigation relocated into an office in Tower 6 in downtown Allentown last week.

After working in office in downtown Bethlehem for 15 years, one small agency decided it was time to relocate.

It’s choice — downtown Allentown.

Lehigh Mining & Navigation, a public relations, marketing and advertising firm,had been occupying space on West Broad Street in Bethlehem since 2003. But the resurgence of downtown Allentown proved too powerful to resist.

The firm, formerly known as Spark, found it enjoyed the charm and environment of downtown Bethlehem, but wanted to be part of the lively business climate forming in downtown Allentown.

“We certainly enjoyed the street life in Bethlehem, the coffee shops, the restaurants…,” said Denis Aumiller, managing director of Lehigh Mining & Navigation. “There is a contrast. The neighborhood vibe is amazing in Bethlehem. What’s happening in Allentown is the development of more density of businesses.”

This includes the movement of more firms in the legal and financial realms to the downtown, which Aumiller said are prime clients for his firm. That, plus the ability to move into a new, custom-designed space prompted Lehigh Mining & Navigation to relocate.

On the second floor of Tower 6 in Allentown, Spillman Farmer Architects of Bethlehem designed a space that offers Lehigh Mining & Navigation a contemporary look with lots of natural daylight and an open space at the center for the firm’s 12 employees to gather.

The office also has space for the firm’s members to work independently as needed and has three wooden swings that hang from the ceiling, making for an unconventional addition to the traditional workplace setting.

Aside from the new office space, the firm also moved to Tower 6 to capitalize on the growing labor pool and business energy, sparked by the many younger office workers that are already there and those to come.

“For us to tap into an employment pool, as we continue to grow, we will gain access to skill sets that we wouldn’t have had elsewhere,” said Dan Weckerly, public relations director for Lehigh Mining & Navigation. “There’s definitely a vibe coming to Allentown, just knowing that even more economic stimulus and business growth is expected.”

Next year, ADP will move hundreds of its employees to office space in Five City Center, another building under construction in the downtown. ESSA Bank & Trust, CrossAmerica Partners, Avantor, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch are a few of the tenants already occupying space in Tower 6, which opened in May.

The ability to network and help other businesses in the downtown was another reason prompting Lehigh Mining & Navigation’s decision to relocate.

“Our engine is dependent on business,” Aumiller said. “It offers opportunity for easy access.”

Lehigh Mining & Navigation also recently participated in a Philadelphia Chapter competition for the Public Relations Society of America and won second place for its entry in the annual Pepperpot Awards. The program celebrates the region’s top public relations professions and their work.

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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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