A massive Berks County industrial park project is about to get national media attention.
Kings Real Estate Management & Development Co. of Windsor Township is looking to build Hamburg Commerce Park, a project with more than 2 million square feet of industrial buildings on about 200 acres off Route 61.
About a year ago, Black Dog Salvage, based in Roanoke, Va., began reclaiming items from some of the structures that were demolished on the Perry Township property near Hamburg for a television show, Salvage Dawgs. The crew shot a series of episodes on salvaging items in the mansion on the property and will air the first of three episodes at 9:30 p.m. March 26, for the start of the season on the DIY Network.
Black Dog Salvage specializes in resale, reclamation and repurposing of architectural, industrial and commercial elements.
The developer is looking forward to getting started on the project, and the TV show could draw more attention.
“We … think it’s going to be a boon for the community both in the tax revenue and jobs,” said Dave King, vice president of operations for Kings Real Estate Management & Development. “The estimated potential for jobs is over 1,000 people.”
King said his firm has preliminary approval from Windsor and Perry townships; the land is in both municipalities. The firm submitted plans to the state Department of Environmental Protection and expects to have a permit this summer.
He said it was likely construction could start this fall.
King said his firm does not have any control over what Salvage Dawgs airs and no one is sure what the episodes will entail, since no one from the company gets to see them before they air.
However, the Esther Ludwig Estate and a corn crib will be featured in the three episodes.
The vacant mansion was previously owned by a woman who gave about $25 million to a trust that awards scholarships for anyone who attends college from the Hamburg Area School District.
The developer used Barnyard Boys LLP, a Lancaster County-based company, to dismantle pieces of the mansion and demolish two other houses.
The Black Dog Salvage crew was there early last April to salvage the interior, which will be featured in Episode 702, and exterior of the property, featured in Episode 705. The crew did the reclaiming, not the demolition, said Christa Stephens, branding and promotions director for Black Dog Salvage.
Kings Real Estate contacted the company to salvage the items of the structures on the property, including the Ludwig Estate.
“They wanted to honor the elements of it for reuse,” said Mike Whiteside, owner of Black Dog Salvage. “We do talk about the history of it. If I could have taken the whole house and brought it home, I would.”
From the cabinetry to the lighting, and even the tiles on the roof, it was a big salvage job, Whiteside said.
“That house was built a little different; it had radiant floor heating, it was built incredibly stout,” Whiteside said.
Even the attic was concrete, he added.
He said his company also worked on a corn crib on the property near the barns.