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Pennsylvania builds more warehouses to meet demand


Pennsylvania builds more warehouses to meet demand

For some time now, the number of logistics operations that have been expanding in Pennsylvania made that state the nation's warehouse capital. Now, demand has reached such a fever pitch in the Keystone State that developers are scrambling to build and remodel as many warehouse spaces as possible to meet the industry's needs.

One such rehab project is in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. There, a company is redeveloping an old manufacturing plant into a warehouse that could become home to at least 50 logistics jobs in the near future. The plant itself - measuring about 95,000 square feet - closed several years ago, but has been vacant for some time.

More details of the project
In addition to renovating the interior of the facility, the project will also widen access roads to the building so it can accommodate more traffic, and renovate the building's exterior, including the installation of new ramps, the report said. In all, the project will cost about $1.45 million to complete, with $1 million of that money coming in the form of a loan from the state, as part of a pool of $23 million that could be used to create nearly 1,200 jobs in Pennsylvania.

Plans for the site haven't actually been submitted to Sharpsburg officials yet, and once that happens it still has to be approved by all members of the Commonwealth Financing Authority board.

Lehigh Valley keeps improving
Meanwhile, the real hub of warehouse activity for not only Pennsylvania but the entire East Coast, is in the Keystone State's Lehigh Valley, where millions of square feet of industrial space are being occupied for logistics work these days, according to Transport Topics. Through the end of the first half of the year, the number was 18.4 million square feet occupied, the most of any region in all of North America. And since the start of 2014, about 10 million square feet have been added to the region. That number is expected to keep growing as well, and when space does become available, it gets scooped within three months or so.

"That's a pretty phenomenal number," Michael Zerbe, a senior managing director at Colliers, told the publication. "It almost never occurs."

With more warehouse jobs coming to Pennsylvania, competition for the best-trained workers is likely to keep heating up. As such, those in warehouse staffing will have to make sure their salary and benefits offerings are ahead of their local competition.