Wholesale supplier picks Lehigh County

With more than 75 locations in eight states in the U.S. Northeast, one company is looking to open its first Pennsylvania site in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

With more than 75 locations in eight states in the U.S. Northeast, one company is looking to open its first Pennsylvania site in the Greater Lehigh Valley.

F.W. Webb Co., a wholesale supplier of heating, cooling and industrial products, is renovating an old building in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, near Lehigh Valley International Airport and converting it into its first warehouse in Pennsylvania.

An opening is scheduled on May 7 for the $4.5 million project, according to Peter Dwyer, general manager for F.W. Webb’s propane and natural gas division. Matt Bliven will be the new facility’s store manager.

“We are surrounded by very good competitors,” Dwyer said. “We have been doing business down in Pennsylvania [via sales] for the last 10 years or so.”

Though weather may cause a shift in the May 7 opening date, the company is looking to hire delivery workers, warehouse workers, sales people and customer service representatives, Dwyer said. By the end of 2015, the company expects to hire about 20 people once the showroom is open.

“We are impressed by the recovery efforts that Pennsylvania is seeing,” Dwyer said. “We’ve seen a trend, a shift to high-efficiency products.”

F.W. Webb was looking for a place in Pennsylvania that would allow it to send its own trucks to propane dealers, Dwyer said.

“We saw the growth potential in Allentown,” Dwyer said. The facility, at 1665 E. Race St., has an Allentown mailing address. “Pennsylvania has a big growth arc right now. The economy is growing quickly in Pennsylvania.”

The early focus for this location will be serving the residential and light commercial markets.

F.W. Webb will determine future markets based on customer demand, Dwyer said.

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.

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