With the New Year just a few weeks away, and the holidays in the forefront of everyone’s mind; we here at Dunn Twiggar Company wanted to take a moment and reflect on the opportunities that 2014 ignited.
It was a big year for the Lehigh Valley, with redevelopment and revitalization taking over virtually every corner. From a development standpoint, we opportunistically picked up two new properties: Remember the old Mickley’s Hotel at MacArthur & Mechanicsville Roads in Whitehall? We bought the old hotel site in late 2013; and have been working steadily on getting tenants and land development approvals in place for this fantastic retail opportunity. We also received Preliminary/Final Land Development Approval for a 70,000 SF industrial building at our site at 4482 Innovation Way, Hanover Township, in what is turning out to be one of the hottest industrial sub-markets in the valley. You can expect to see progress on both sites throughout 2015.
We’re sure that you’ve kept up with the progress of The Waterfront amongst all of the great things happening in Allentown; but just in case, we’ll remind you that 2014 will officially be the year improvements began at The Waterfront site. With all of the pomp and circumstance befitting it (including video from an overhead drone!), demolition began on what we’re certain will be, yet another, highly acknowledged and successful urban rejuvenation project right here in the Lehigh Valley. We’re looking forward to even more great things to come (maybe some vertical construction!) in the New Year, and are eager to keep the momentum thriving with our partners at Jaindl Properties.
We achieved 94% occupancy at 60 West Broad Street, our office and retail building located in the heart of downtown Bethlehem. Soon after reaching that milestone, we finalized the sale of the building to a local investor. We miss downtown Bethlehem already!
As a company, we worked hard throughout the year to attain new tenants and retain our existing ones at all of our properties; with new leases and renewals totaling 60,000 sf. Specifically, we were able to lease up 479 Thomas Jones Way in Exton to 97% occupancy, as well as our downtown Allentown building at 801 Hamilton Street to 90% occupancy (both well above their market occupancy rates!).
In 2014 we brought on a number of new property management accounts for outside owners; including an agreement with an out of state REIT for 3rd party management of two local distribution centers that total over 500,000 square feet. Our Property Management Team also oversaw construction of several office fit-out projects accumulating to 33,000 square feet and valued at over $1,500,000.
Internally, we brought on two new employees to the DTC team. Veronica Bocian joined us in March as our Marketing Coordinator, and has worked to give us a total brand makeover—concluding with the design of this website! (Thanks to our friends at J Taylor Design!) Veronica recently graduated from West Chester University (Home of the fightin’ Golden Rams!) and was honored to make her mark as the 2013 commencement speaker upon ending her time at WCU. She is very active in the Lehigh Valley’s theatre scene and can currently be seen in It’s a Wonderful Life at the Pennsylvania Playhouse!
In July, we welcomed Debbie Carbonaro as our new Controller, and have since enjoyed her enthusiastic addition to our office. Debbie has been a Boy Scout Leader for 10 years and is involved in planning many fundraising events around the Valley. She is also a certified personal trainer and isn’t afraid of a good competition! In 2014 she finished the Spartan Race and MS150 Bike Ride. Debbie loves to cook up a healthy Italian meal for her family, and we appreciate the leftovers!
What a year! We are definitely growing, right alongside the pace that was set throughout this year in our community. We are looking forward to 2015, our 10th year as a company, the opportunity it brings, and the growing confidence in the positive impact we will continue to make.