Work is underway to create a new industrial park on Route 33 near the Route 512 interchange in Wind Gap at a 55-acre site and once eyesore as the former home to more than 2 million old tires.
Infrastructure work has begun on the Green Knight Industrial Park, which is expected to have 200,000 square feet of building space available on a site that was formerly the J.H. Beers property – the third largest tire dump in the state. Before that, the property was a slate quarry.
Chad Helmer, senior project manager for Taggart Associates of Bethlehem and who is overseeing the project for Green Knight Economic Development Corp., said work will continue through next spring to bring in water and sewer lines, electric, gas and other utility needs for up to 10 lots that will be marketed to developers and end users of the properties.
“Ultimately, the market will drive what you see in these parcels, but for Green Knight their goal is to bring as many good-paying jobs to the community, so they’d like to see such uses as light manufacturing,” Helmer said.
The goal, upon full build-out, is to create about 280 jobs and generate $300,000 in annual tax revenue through the industrial park.
Helmer said the marketing of the properties to end users should be in full force by the winter. Developers are targeting small- to medium-sized manufacturers needing between 20,000 and 60,000 square feet of space, for which he said there is a demand.
“There’s not particularly a lot of this size space available in the area, especially new space, which works out well for our site,” he said.
The infrastructure work is by Muschlitz Excavating of Bath. Bohler Engineering of Bethlehem provided engineering design services.
The GKEDC is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to facilitate community and economic development in the communities that make up the Pen Argyl School District in northern Northampton County. Green Knights is the nickname for Pen Argyl school sports teams.
The economic development corporation is funded by revenues from operations of a methane-to-energy plant at the Grand Central Sanitary Landfill in Plainfield Township. Revenue is to be used to support projects and initiatives that improve economic opportunities and the overall quality of life in the area.