Repurposing a former Bethlehem Steel building for new food and beverage companies to collaborate

Posted on Mar 5, 2019 in Projects

In South Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, J.G. Petrucci partnered with Richard Thompson, former CEO of Freshpet, Inc., to redevelop and revitalize a historical Bethlehem Steel building.

The Factory LLC, a company founded by Thompson, knew that they needed a development team with strong roots and strategic Lehigh Valley relationships to achieve their vision for the property.

“We wanted to create a premier innovation center for new food and beverage companies to collaborate and ‘scale-up’ in their respective fields,” explains Richard Thompson. “J.G. Petrucci designed and built a facility that allows us to partner with entrepreneurs in a one-of-a-kind collaborative space that serves as a launching pad for their businesses and supports them in achieving the next level. Our team of industry experts are readily available to support entrepreneurs in all levels of their business, including but not limited to consumer research and insights, social media strategy and implementation, product packaging design and more.” Located just three blocks from Lehigh University, the Factory was strategically designed and constructed to house all the resources and expertise needed to support innovation and growth for emerging companies. J.G. Petrucci worked with the Factory to design and build a shared, state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, with live video production capabilities, and food safety areas. In addition, the team created a unique concept for the office spaces and conference rooms by repurposing and furnishing shipping containers.

“Throughout the urban redevelopment project, we really focused on preserving the history and character of the building while making it attractive to the community and businesses” notes Peter Polt, Executive Vice President at J.G. Petrucci. “We paid homage to the industrial roots of the building by replicating the industrial window style, and worked to preserve one of the original cranes that was used by Bethlehem Steel. By keeping these features, we retained the character of the old Bethlehem Steel building while breathing new life into it with this exciting food-innovation use.”

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