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Are we there yet? Yes, spec might be coming back

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Jason Scott

It might be time to start dusting off those original sketches and land development plans.

Speculative building, especially on the warehouse and distribution side, seems to be coming back.

Chester County-based Liberty Property Trust said last week that it was designing spec spaces along the Interstate 81 corridor. Liberty is the developer behind the Procter & Gamble distribution facility going up near Shippensburg in Franklin County.

And local officials seem optimistic that comparable development off the highway could be on its way after a few years of stagnant activity.

Private-sector builders also have been talking more confidently about their prospects of landing new commercial and industrial projects up and down Interstate 78 and I-81. Several companies, including Silver Spring Township-based R.S. Mowery & Sons Inc., reported strong 2012 sales and are poised for growth in 2013.

Plus, we have already seen spurts of activity near the I-78/I-81 split in Lebanon and Berks counties.

New inventory has started to dry up on the industrial side, while other commercial real estate has gotten older or certain job sectors have picked up to a point where additions are becoming necessary.

Now I'm not saying it's time to fire up the flux capacitor in the DeLorean. But we could be heading into an alternate version of the prerecession years.

Quick, get the banana peel and beer can for Mr. Fusion.

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@centralpennbusiness.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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