OAA opening new medical offices in Tilghman Square

OAA’s main facility on Cetronia Road in South Whitehall Township PHOTO/OAAORTHO.COM
OAA’s main facility on Cetronia Road in South Whitehall Township PHOTO/OAAORTHO.COM –

OAA Orthpaedic Specialists will be opening new medical office space in the Tilghman Square Shopping Center at 4652 Broadway in South Whitehall Township. 

OOA has signed a 15-year lease for nearly 18,000 square feet of office space at the shopping center, which is near its main facility on Cetronia Road. 

The new office should be open by mid-year. 

“OAA Orthopaedic Specialists was founded to provide high quality and affordable care to patients in easily accessible locations across the Lehigh Valley,” said David Bittner, CEO of OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. “This new location promises easy patient access and will allow us to design a space tailored around our unique physician-led and provider/therapist team-based therapy model – the only offering of its kind in the Lehigh Valley.” 

OAA has been providing orthopaedic care in the Lehigh Valley since 1970. 

Cindy McDonnell Feinberg, CCIM of Feinberg Real Estate Advisors LLC represented OAA.  The landlord, Larken Associates, was represented by Derek Zerfass and Scott Horner of Colliers.  

The new location is scheduled to be operational mid-2023.   



Trucking firm opens new site in South Whitehall

4815 Crackersport Road in South Whitehall Township. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


In another sign that the logistics and transportation industry is booming in the Lehigh Valley, the region is getting another trucking company.

U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest truckload carriers, has leased space at 4815 Crackersport Road in South Whitehall Township from J.G. Petrucci Co. Inc. The company provides over-the-road, dedicated and brokerage services.

Petrucci had acquired the vacant motor freight terminal in January and was able to lease it out to the new trucking company in less than two months.

In a press release from Petrucci, the company said the space offered the connectivity it was looking for while providing the option for expansion.

“We’re excited about the growth of our terminal network in the northeast market and the additional support it will provide our customers and drivers in the region,” said Nick Lemm, director of corporate real estate and facilities for U.S. Xpress. “We look forward to working with J.G Petrucci and Iron Hill Construction for renovation and expansion.”

Petrucci’s construction division, Iron Hill Construction Management, will be expanding the space for U.S. Xpress and will add a truck/trailer repair and maintenance facility to the site.

That will serve as a motor freight terminal for the company as well as providing office space, a drivers’ lounge, training space and space for light maintenance, repairs and washing.

After nearly $500M in 2020 losses, Dorney Park parent company ready for new season

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom in South Whitehall Township. PHOTO/FILE


As expected, 2020 was not a good year for amusement parks, and Cedar Fair, the parent company of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom reported a drastic drop in revenue for the year.

Cedar Fair said with a limited season, and lower attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic, net revenues for the company totaled $182 million versus $1.47 billion for 2019.

That led to a loss of more than $590 million dollars, when factoring in added expenses the company incurred implementing COVID-19 mitigation strategies and other operating costs.

The good news is the company expects the pent up demand for amusement parks will make 2021 a much better year.

“We are optimistic that levels of attendance at our parks and resort properties will significantly improve in 2021, particularly as COVID-19 vaccines become broadly available over the next few months,” said Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman. “In anticipation of improving demand, we are poised to resume normal operations, particularly during our seasonally stronger back half of the year. We have strategically designed our operating plan for the 2021 season specifically to minimize cash burn in the pre-opening period and correlate park operating calendars with forecasted demand while growing our season pass base for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.”

Zimmerman said in response to the pandemic, the company made great strides in process improvements and found cost saving opportunities.

For 2020, operating costs and expenses totaled $484 million compared with $991 million for 2019.

“These efforts have reduced our use of cash and positioned us well to emerge from the pandemic as a leaner and more cost-efficient organization,” he said.

Zimmerman said he expects the company’s parks will benefit from lingering COVID-19 caution as families continue to look for outdoor, closer-to-home entertainment options.

After a late opening in 2020 because of the COVID-19 shutdown, Dorney Park closed its season early, shuttering on Labor Day, Sept. 7 and foregoing its popular Halloween-themed weekends. Wildwater Kingdom never opened for the season because of the pandemic.

Plans are on track for both parks to be open for the 2021 season.

Dorney announced Wednesday that it planned to hire “thousands” for the upcoming season.

The park said it is hiring ride operators, security, aquatics, horticulture, food & beverage, merchandise, finance, maintenance and entertainment workers.

Hotel Hamilton project at King George Inn receives approval

The King George Inn building will be preserved as part of the Hotel Hamilton development project in South Whitehall Township. PHOTO/STACY WESCOE –


South Whitehall Township Commissioners approved the Hotel Hamilton project, which will bring a 100-room extended-stay hotel, bank and pharmacy to a 5.36 acre tract of land on the corner of Hamilton Boulevard and Cedar Crest.

The project, which has been in the works for nearly five years, will preserve the core structure of the historic, 17th century building that, until a few years ago, housed the King George Inn restaurant.

The original plan called for the demolition of the building along with a former Carvel Ice Cream shop and Burger King located on the property, but developer HMB Management in Upper Macungie Township changed that plan after a public outcry to preserve the building.

Storm water management issues, which have plagued the property, were blamed for much of the delays on the project. Those issues were one of the reasons cited for not wanting to maintain the King George Inn building as a restaurant.

Instead, the developer removed more recent structures attached to the main building and is rehabilitating the property. The developer had previously stated the building could have other uses, such as office space, but the final plan did not specify a use for the structure.

South Whitehall’s Creditsafe to expand database into Africa

Creditsafe, a South Whitehall Township-based global credit monitoring company, specializing in credit checks for business, has extended its global database to include 47 African countries.

Creditsafe now has a total of 160 countries in which companies can check the credit of the businesses that are headquartered there.

“For some time we have been aware of the challenge companies face sourcing data in this territory,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe Asia and Americas in a news release. “I’m proud to announce we’ve filled in that gap by providing access to all the countries in the continent of Africa.”

Debbage said that providing business intelligence data to customers with interest in Africa will allow for informed international trade decisions.

Founded in 1997, Creditsafe has 250,000 users worldwide.

Advisers urge caution for retirees hoping to bet on stocks

Retirement can be that much sweeter for people playing the stock market.

But even if they feel they have money to spare, retirees need to think about what they stand to lose in this high-stakes game.

“Retirees should only invest in the stock market when they need to or only when they can afford to,” said Gene Dickison, founder and president of MTM Financial Group LLC in Lower Nazareth Township. “They should do it when all your expenses are paid for and they are just doing it for fun … It’s like going to the Sands Casino but with less alcohol.”

Dickison and other retirement planners said a conservative approach is better in most situations that involve investments by people of retirement age.

They should figure out their nondiscretionary expenses and their spending money, and treat the stock market as more of a hobby and less of an obsession. In addition, it is important that seniors put in the research and carefully watch for swings and dips in the market.

Gut check

According to financial adviser Michael Waterhouse of Independence Planning Group in South Whitehall Township, wealth managers and financial planners should work with clients to access their experience regarding investing in the stock market and how much volatility they are willing to accept as they enter their retirement years.

“I always ask how much guaranteed monthly income do they already have coming in versus their monthly expenses,” Waterhouse said. “How much they should invest in the stock market depends on their appetite for risk, what other assets they have in place and how much is already invested in the stock market.”

Waterhouse said that he does not recommend that retirees invest a large percentage of their portfolio in the stock market, but their purchases should include equities, bonds, guarantees and a predictable legacy for their loved ones.

“The allocation depends on the clients’ tolerance for risk, their specific financial situation and if there is a significant gap between what they need and what they already have coming in,” the financial adviser said.

Dave Rowan, president and founder of Rowan Financial LLC in Bethlehem, said investing in the stock market can be good for retirees. However, he warned, what starts as a hobby can quickly turn into an obsession.

If your stock market activity is keeping you up at night, or you are checking stocks several times a day, then you need to learn to back out a bit. Walk away if too much time and money is invested, Rowan said.

Set limits

Retirees must evaluate their financial standing before putting their money in the stock market, he added, and they should not feel compelled to risk more than they are willing to in the market.

“If you are financially stable, investing 10 to 20 percent in the stock market is reasonable,” Rowan said.

On the flip side, there are those who are not where they need to be financially by the time they have reached retirement age, he added. Stocks are less a hobby and potentially more of a necessity.

“These people may need to put 50 percent to 60 percent of their savings (into the stock market) to get themselves in a better position,” Rowan said. “People with a boatload of money have more to play with.”

Thomas J. Scalici, co-founder and CEO of CornerstoneAdvisors Asset Management LLC in Bethlehem, is wary of retirees trading individual stocks on their own.

“Individual stocks are about three times as volatile as stock funds are and most people cannot stomach that type of volatility,” Scalici said. “As a result, they tend to get in and out of stocks at the wrong time.”

Dickison at MTM advises that retirees seek the assistance of a wealth management expert or be prepared to do the homework and research involved in making the best investments in a stock market that can go downhill fast.

If one is unwilling to pay a financial planning expert, Dickison said there are some reputable financial organizations available to work with those interested in playing the stock market. Some services charge monthly fees for financial advice at an affordable price, and there also some good magazines and literature available on the stock market and safe investment choices.

David Markle, owner of Markle Wealth Management in Danielsville, said he has one wealthier client that invests pretty heavily in the stock market – $700,000 to $800,000 of his savings and income.

Markle said that this particular client manages these investments, which include shares of big companies like Google and Apple.

“One piece of advice I give is that once stocks are mentioned in a magazine, they have reached a price that you should not buy anyway,” Markle said.