A Brooklyn-based Chinese food manufacturer said it is planning to begin operating in the Greater Lehigh Valley, with the first of three buildings expected to open for business this month.
J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc. of Hanover Township, Northampton County, said it is collaborating with Chan and Chan USA Inc., a producer of frozen Chinese foods, to design and build a facility that would accommodate the company’s needs for space and to enhance its food production capabilities. The company will keep its Brooklyn location operating and create one facility in the Lehigh Valley out of three separate buildings.
“That’s one of the biggest changes from their current facility,” said Joe Petrucci, project manager at Iron Hill Construction Management, J.G. Petrucci’s in-house construction team. “They have a lot of manual labor in the Brooklyn site, this facility is going to be more efficient and automated for what they do.”
Petrucci said the company also chose the Lehigh Valley to increase its reach.
“It was really the location of the Lehigh Valley, the network of people that can be reached in the Lehigh Valley,” Petrucci said. “I think they are trying to expand their client base.”
The first part of the project involves revitalizing a building at 2320 Avenue A in Bethlehem and building it to standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Global Food Safety Initiative. The 8,000-square-foot building will include new freezer and cooler storage for Chan and Chan’s products, Petrucci said.
The renovations include installation of new insulated metal panels, refrigeration equipment and freezer slab.
The second part of the project, now in design, will start construction in the first quarter and be open by summer 2019, Petrucci said. It includes renovating a 72,000-square-foot-building to serve as the company’s processing facility, creating about 75 jobs.
The company bought the site from Bosch Rexroth in 2017 for $4.7 million, according to Northampton County property records.
Cerminara Architect of Hillsborough Township, N.J., completed the facility designs.