With warehouse and distribution development continuing to sprout along the Route 33 corridor of Northampton County, investors are looking further north for untapped potential.
But this time, the focus is on manufacturing.
Rather than build more large warehouses on a planned industrial park in Wind Gap, those involved with the project say the goal is to redevelop a vacant tract to build facilities that would mainly be for manufacturers.
The smaller buildings geared for what would become Green Knight Industrial Park II, call for footprints that would not support the giant warehouses, some of which reach 1 million square feet, found elsewhere in the region.
The 56-acre site in the northern tier of the Greater Lehigh Valley is a former tire shredding business that’s been vacant for years. The members of the Green Knight Economic Development Corp., a nonprofit, want to develop an industrial park, said Peter Albanese, the organization’s treasurer. The group works with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. and other organizations in the Slate Belt on economic development projects and to promote economic growth in the communities of Wind Gap, Plainfield Township and Pen Argyl.
“I think in general, the Slate Belt is starting to position itself as a great area for development and job growth,” said Andrew Kleiner, director of redevelopment and external affairs for LVEDC. “The Slate Belt is really angling itself well and I think there’s going to be jobs up there.”
Kleiner said LVEDC helped the Green Knight organization with environmental assessments for the property.
The site is mainly in Wind Gap and Plainfield Township, with a small portion in Bushkill Township, which would not be developed according to plans.
Albanese said the organization will go before the governing bodies of both Plainfield Township and Wind Gap to gain approvals so construction can potentially begin in less than a year.
While the Green Knight organization owns the property, Albanese said he would like to get the property subdivided into several lots. The organization has been working on the project since 2011.l