Real Estate Journal — Pennsylvania — June 9 - 22, 2017 — 13C


M id A tlantic

P ennsylvania

By Steve Chen, Crystal Window & Door Systems Why we chose Northeast Pennsylvania and the Greater Scranton Area


rystal Window & Door Systems is a national manufacturer of vinyl

with $30 to $55 psf for existing industrial buildings for sale in Lackawanna County. The existing building on the new Crystal property, while not immediately suitable for our operations, has a usable quality construction building envelope. This enabled us to shave at least a year off produc- tion startup, compared to a sce- nario requiring construction of a completely new building. As we modify the building, we are seeing that Northeast Penn- sylvania construction costs are lower than New York City’s by perhaps 30%, another factor in the region's favor.

Since our Northeastern Pennsylvania factory will in- tegrate its operations with our New York plant, proximity to New York City is critical and Lackawanna County has that going for it. The travel time between the two facilities by car or truck is approximately 3 hours. A round trip with time for a meeting, material delivery or finished window pick up can easily be made in a regular workday. The Scranton Area also offers extraordinarily good highway access. Interstates 81, 380, 84, and 80 all serve the region, making many major metropoli-

tan areas well within a day's drive for delivery of finished products. The great highway system and Crystal Windows' very close proximity in Benton Twp. to I-81 exits 201 and 202 also make it convenient for employees commuting to work. The Lackawanna County economic development offi- cials and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce have been superbly helpful. With- out their involvement, Crystal might never have been aware of the real estate opportunities in the area. They also played a proactive role in the final real estate purchase closing that

was invaluable. Their knowl- edgeable, experienced staffs understand the needs of busi- nesses and know how to assist dynamic, growing companies. Through their introductions, Crystal has made dozens of valuable contacts with the local business community, contractors, material suppli- ers, professional services, and government officials. The Great er Sc rant on / Wilkes-Barre Area with over 500,000 residents provides Crystal Windows with a great potential workforce. We've hired over 50 to date and plan continued on next page

and alumi - numwindows a n d d o o r s with five pro- duction facili- ties and dis- tribution in more than 40 states around the country.

Steve Chen

While our main factory and corporate headquarters are located in New York City, we have expanded production op- erations over the past 30 years to Chicago, IL; Riverside, CA; St. Louis, MO; and now Benton Twp. in Lackawanna County, PA. Northeast Pennsylvania and the Greater Scranton re- gion are rapidly becoming a very important part of the company's future. In October 2015, Crystal Windows acquired a 226-acre industrial property just off I-81 with an existing 336,000 s/f building. Since that time, we've renovated a significant part of the building, begun pro- duction operations, and hired 50 workers from the local com- munity. Five year plans call for further building renovations, expansion of production and a workforce of perhaps 350 to 400 employees. Tens of millions of dollars will be invested in the facility and will be generated in new economic activity for the area. Great news, of course, but why did Crystal Window choose Northeast Pennsylvania for this large expansion? What can be learned from Crystal's decision making process that might be useful for attracting other major firms to the area? I'll try to explain some of the reasons why Crystal, a New York City-based manufacturer, has decided to grow in Lacka- wanna County. First is the area's availability of large industrial properties at affordable prices. In New York City and much of its surrounding environs, it is impossible to find properties for manufacturing that exceed 50 acres. Smaller spaces go for wildly exorbitant prices since industrial property competes with commercial, retail, office and multi-family housing real estate. For example, a recent review of existing industrial buildings for sale in New York City reveals an average list price psf of $627, compared

FEATURES • 190,000 SF 2-Story facility • 54 Acres Railroad access • Zoned I-2 General Industrial • 10 Loading docks • 8,400 SF Air conditioned offices • Large warehouse/storage areas • 3.5 Acres paved parking lot ● Distribution ● Office ● Warehouse ● Storage ● Manufacturing ● Flex space Central Transportation Hub to INTERSTATES 64, 66, 81 and 95 ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES for

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