“If we build it, they will come” could be the mantra at the
Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO)
, where speculative buildings continue to rise despite a lackluster economy.
SLIBCO just announced plans for two new spec “flex” buildings at its Jessup Small Business Center. TMG Health
, a large medical billing and management company, will take occupancy next month of a new, 150,000-square-foot building at the adjoining Valley View Business Park for its national operations center. SLIBCO is also developing a 43,000-square-foot, speculative office building as a small-business incubator.
Why are developers such as Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services
of Wilkes-Barre, a major industrial developer in Northeast Pennsylvania, and SLIBCO willing to roll the dice on spec space? Andy Skrip, SLIBCO’s vice president for industrial development, explains: “Companies take a long time to make decisions about expansion or relocation. But once they pull the trigger, they want to move right away.”
Build-to-suit can take a year or more for land acquisition, permitting and construction. So spec space provides instant gratification. And flex space makes sense when building speculatively, since the space can be fit out to accommodate a range of uses.
Skrip anticipates that Mericle’s two new flex buildings will attract office, distribution or manufacturing, joining a roster of tenants that include food distributors, a glass distributor, a military-based manufacturer and offices including the Lackawanna County 911 call center.
Mericle broke ground earlier this month on its first, 96,000-square-foot flex building at Jessup; the second, 160,000-square-foot building will follow when the first is substantially occupied.
Source: Andy Skrip, SLIBCO
Writer: Elise Vider