30A — January 27 - February 9, 2012 — Economic Development — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal

MARE journal.com

E conomic D evelopment

he Ben Franklin Tech- nology Partners of Northeastern Penn- The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania Newly expanded Ben Franklin TechVentures incubator helps PA start-ups create jobs T

early-stage companies, rental costs lower than market rates, flexible floor planning to ac- commodate specific needs, and access to Lehigh’s facilities, equipment, faculty, and stu- dent resources. These factors combine to greatly enhance incubator resident companies’ probability of success. The original Ben Franklin Business Incubator, established in 1983 and located across the street from BFTV, had been at capacity for most of its quarter- century of operation. Lehigh donated the TechVentures building to Ben Franklin to expand its business incubator

in 2007, and Ben Franklin completely renovated this for- mer Bethlehem Steel lab. This building addressed the region’s growing incubator and wet lab space needs by doubling the available wet lab space and more than tripling the office and dry lab space previously available. Wet lab space is rare in business incubators because of the costs of providing it, but also necessary for many technology-based companies. Just eighteen months after the grand opening, TechVentures was filled to near capacity, indicative of the tremendous demand for this space in the region. The facility expansion, Ben Franklin TechVentures 2 , opened in October 2011 and added 47,000 s/f to the existing building. It includes wet labs, office/meeting space, and a parking deck. The architect was Spillman Farmer Architects and the construction manager was Allied Building Corporation, both of Bethlehem, PA. The addition is projected to create as many as 200 sustainable, highly paid technology jobs and retain 100 more jobs at new start-up companies in its first three years. Ben Frank- lin TechVentures 2 is registered to be a certified Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, with a photovoltaic solar array on its rooftop, and the lat- est energy management and light-harvesting technologies, produced by Coopersburg, PA-based Lutron Electronics, integrated throughout the building. The expansion won the Pennsylvania Econom- ic Development Association Project of the Year award in 2011, and received first-place national honors in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 ENERGY STAR Challenge Contest. Twenty-nine early-stage firms, employing 158 people, are currently located in Ben Franklin TechVentures. Since 1983, Ben Franklin TechVen- tures and its predecessor, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, have graduated 54 successful companies, which grossed more than $408 mil- lion in annual revenue last year and created more than 5,200 jobs. Ben Franklin TechVentures 2 brings together entrepreneurs, Ben Franklin staff, and Lehigh

sylvania (BFTP) creates and retains highly paid, sustain- able jobs by linking companies with experts, universities, funding, and other resources to help them prosper through innovation. The northeastern center is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures on the campus of Lehigh Univer- sity in Bethlehem, PA, and is part of a four-center economic development initiative that is funded by the state. Ben Franklin TechVentures (BFTV) is an award-winning

Ben Franklin TechVentures ©2011 Halkin Photography LLC

technology-based incuba- tor/post incubator facility that is owned and managed by BFTP. BFTV provides

resident companies with the support of an experienced incubator staff, the synergy of working in proximity to other

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