The new Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory in Willow Street is now open.
For the month of October, the public has been invited to tour the 12,500-square-foot building at 2421 Willow Street Pike, designed by Cox & Evans Architects; the last open house is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Oct. 23.
This is the sixth funeral home and third crematory for Charles F. Snyder. It’s also the first time in almost 120 years the Willow Street area will have its own funeral home, a release noted.
“We’ve always served families from all over Lancaster County, including those communities south of Lancaster city such as Willow Street,” said funeral director Charles F. “Chad” Snyder III, a third-generation owner.
“Dad and I have been looking for the right location for many years in the Willow Street community to make our services better and more convenient for the families there. This has been the best way we could imagine to do that, and we’re so pleased to finally be laying down roots here.”
Built by Benchmark Construction Co., the facility features a state-of-the-art crematory, multiple chapels (one honoring Hans Herr, which showcases Tom Hermansader’s original watercolor of the Hans Herr House), arrangement offices, monument offices, preplanning offices, cremation participant room, comfort room, modern selection room and outdoor gathering terrace.
The supervising funeral director is Kelly Gramola Townsend, who has been with Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes for 21 years.
Consumer demand is driving the warehouse boom in Central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley with ecommerce companies leasing more than half of the space.
That demand is expected to grow, and local and regional companies are investing in the development, according to CBRE.
Other space is occupied by food and beverage distribution and manufacturing companies, according to Becky Bradley, executive director of Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. Small to medium-sized businesses make up the rest.
Bill Wolf, vice president of CBRE, which tracks industrial development across the country, including Central Pennsylvania, said Lehigh Valley’s industrial sector and the region are seeing substantial growth from the scaling up of local manufacturing and logistics facilities.
Pennsylvania’s 78 and Interstate 81 corridor in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley added the most leased large industrial space in the country in 2020, with 8 industrial leases of 1 million square feet or more added last year, according to a CBRE report.
Additionally, the I-78/I-81 corridor was home to 11 of the 100 largest industrial leases, coming in at almost 13 million square feet — larger than any single MSA (Micropolitan Statistical Areas) or city-sized region in the United States, CBRE said.
The region is close to the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. It also has access to rail service through Norfolk Southern and CSX.
In addition, Lehigh Valley International Airport is ranked one of the top air cargo markets in the country and one of the fastest growing, according to the Airports Council International’s 2021 report.
“The majority of the facilities are general retail and wholesalers – consumer products,” Wolf said. The reason for the growth, he said, is simply consumer demand.
Bradley said most of the warehouses are built on spec.
“They are giant boxes with a lot of flexibility inside,” she said.
However, the majority are leased before construction is complete or around the time of completion.
“We can’t establish traffic (during the planning stages) because we don’t know who is going in until they get there,” she said.
Steven Deck, executive director, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, which covers Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry counties, agreed.
“There’s no single or even small group of developers that stand out in our region, more a broad range of commercial/industrial real estate developers,” he said.
In terms of who leases the space, “unless there is a single lease holder like FedEx, UPS, Walmart, Amazon, Proctor & Gamble, etc. we don’t know who leases the space,” Deck said. “Many of these warehouses have unknown users at the land development stage, with such decisions often made well after the planning process is complete.”
“Generally, we see 35%-40% leased before completion,” Wolf said. “Inventory is low, so space is absorbed before completion.”
According to the CBRE report, investing in warehouse and industrial space is more risk diverse. Investors are more local than foreign.
Bradley agreed, saying development is happening by companies that specialize in it. Locally, CBRE, Prologis, Lee & Associates of Eastern Pennsylvania, National Logistics and J.G. Petrucci Company Inc. are among the major players.
Space not leased by ecommerce, food and beverage or manufacturing, are leased by small or even large businesses, Bradley said.
“It could be used for storage, which there is a need for,” she said.
Many of the warehouses, Wolf said, are operated by third party operators.
“It’s always been there, but we are seeing an increase,”
He explained the third-party operators offer accounting, human resources, outsourcing and other services that help companies run more efficiently.
“We are in unprecedented times with construction delays, supply shortages and even delays in approvals,” he said. “There is more demand than supply, so costs are going up.”
Nationally, there has been a 15% increase in rents in major markets, he said. In Central Pennsylvania, rates have climbed 20%, with Lehigh Valley seeing an average of $9-$10 a square foot and Central Pennsylvania seeing $7-$7.50 per square foot.
“The further away from major transportation routes, the lower the rents will be,” Wolf said.
“All the markets are hot” and developers are stretching out to find land suitable for development,” he added.
After Lehigh Valley, developers are stretching into Berks County, Wolf said.
York County, with access to the I-83 corridor, has been strong as well. With access to Baltimore and Harrisburg, companies have pulled labor from those markets and prospered.
Lancaster and Reading, however, have suffered because of Route 222, Wolf said. “The road to nowhere does not give good access.”
While the work being done on Route 222 is ongoing, those markets are still behind in the building boom, he said.
Cold storage is an area of real growth too, he said. “These garner premium rents because they are unique buildings, especially if the leasee needs the whole building.”
Cold storage is in demand not only by food companies, but pharmaceutical and chemical companies as well, he said.
The attraction to the regional market is also due to the labor market, Wolf said.
According to the CBRE report, the regional warehouse labor force was around 190, 500 in 2020. That is expected to grow 13.4% by 2030.
While the labor market is strong, Bradley said different companies require different numbers of employees, depending on the business.
“Look at Walmart, for example,” she said. “They have two warehouses side by side. One is for small items and the other is for large ones.”
Bradley said there could be a 50% difference in the number of employees needed. The warehouse that ships small items can employ 4,000 to 5,000 people while the one that ships large items requires less hands, she said.
“These facilities are becoming more automated all the time in the efforts associated with increasing capacity without huge increases in labor costs,” Deck said.
Bradley agreed. “There is a lot more automation going on.”
Wolf said AI will play a big part in manufacturing, in warehouses and in transportation.
“These companies are more tech savvy with understanding where goods are coming from and how much they need to keep on hand,” he said. “Automation brings on more efficiency through the whole process.”
Even with inflation on the rise, Wolf said the growth of warehouse space is expected to continue because rent is a small portion of the supply chain costs when looking at the cost of transportation, goods, and payroll.
Members 1st Federal Credit Union opened its new 185,000-square-foot headquarters in Hampden Township on Tuesday.
The new move marks a change in location for the Cumberland County-based credit union, which previously resided in the Mechanicsburg headquarters it built in 1997.
In Mechanicsburg, Members 1st employees were spread out across four separate buildings in the city’s Rossmoyne Business Center.
As part of the move, the company has sold two of the four buildings and plans to sell the remaining two. The new headquarters allows the company to house its 500 administrative associates in one facility, said George Nahodil, president and CEO of Members 1st.
“Several years ago, we began making plans for a new headquarters to improve efficiencies,” said Nahodil. “I am so thankful for and proud of our associates who stepped up and brought this vision to life, all while continuing to deliver unparalleled experiences to our member-owners.”
The new Hampden Township headquarters features a focus on natural light with 73,000 square feet of glass throughout the interior. The building also features a community room, collaborative workspace, an associate café, a walking trail nearby and an associate fitness center.
Alpha Consulting Engineers of York County completed the civil site design, East Lampeter Township’s Greenfield Architects oversaw the building’s design and Mowery Construction in Silver Spring Township served as the credit union’s construction partner.
“All of us at Mowery were thrilled to have worked with Members 1st Federal Credit Union as the construction manager on this amazing project,” said David Cross, owner and CEO of Mowery. “The building is not only a testament to a world-class organization but also a living example of how to conduct business. I attribute much of the success of this project to the cultural alignment that exists between our two organizations and the entire project team.”
Members 1st has more than half a million members and over $6 billion in assets. The company was founded in 1950.
Dunkin’, formerly Dunkin’ Donuts, has opened a new, “next generation” restaurant at 1423 S. Market St., Mechanicsburg.
The 2,000-square-foot eatery employs 20 and features a modern look with “a fresh, friendly, vibrant and engaging environment,” a release noted.
That includes a warm interior color palette; atmospheric lighting; a convenient, contactless drive-thru; a front-facing bakery case; complimentary Wi-Fi; and an innovative tap system for cold beverages, such Nitro-Infused Cold Brew, a next-gen exclusive.
Dunkin’s next-gen restaurants are also designed to meet DD Green Achievement specifications and feature LED lighting, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, low-flow faucets and more. On average, DD Green Achievement eateries are 33% more energy efficient compared with conventional Dunkin’ restaurants, the release said.
The South Market Street location is one of 10 Dunkin’ franchises in Pennsylvania owned and operated by BJ Patel.
Part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants, Dunkin’ has more than 12,600 eateries in 40 countries worldwide.
York-based national architecture firm, CORE Design Group, announced it will be increasing its footprint in the Mid-Atlantic region with the opening of a new Aberdeen, Maryland office.
The Aberdeen office is CORE’s fourth office in the region and signifies the firm’s national growth and development, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The office is just over an hour from CORE’s headquarters in York. It will be managed by Ted Jasinski, who will take the role of operations manager of Aberdeen.
Jasinski has over 46 years of professional architectural experience and has a record of planning and designing projects up to $50 million. He is joined by Martin Summers, senior project manager; Ellen Jenkins, senior project manager and Andrew Forrester, architectural designer.
The expansion comes less than a year after CORE announced that it would be merging with Richard F. Mulá Architects in Lancaster.
Mountz Jewelers will hold open houses at its newly-remodeled stores in Camp Hill and Colonial Park.
The interior renovation at Mountz’s Camp Hill location, 3780 Trindle Road, includes a porcelain-tiled entry and luxury carpet with stone finishes throughout the showroom. The store features a custom jewelry design area and museum-style cases made by Artco Group Inc.
The Colonial Park store, 4520 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg, has undergone an exterior renovation with new signage, brighter colors, granite columns and an entrance canopy.
The open houses will be held at both locations Aug. 5-7. Champagne and other refreshments will be available.
Family owned and operated for 40 years, Mountz offers a comprehensive collection of designer jewelry brands, custom design, extraordinary customer service and online shopping. The jeweler has an additional location at 1160 Walnut Bottom Road, Carlisle. Visit online at mountzjewelers.com.
York technology services company Doceo recently opened a new office in downtown Lebanon.
Doceo, a provider of copiers, printers and IT services with locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, announced on Monday that it opened a new 1,800-square-foot sales and service center at 604 Cumberland Street.
The new office space is in the same building as the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“The decision to expand our presence in Lebanon had been on our radar prior to the pandemic,” said John Lewis, president and CEO of Doceo. “Then in February of this year, we decided to make the long-term commitment to (open) an office in downtown Lebanon.”
The Lebanon County office marks Doceo’s 11th location since it was founded in 2004. Doceo first broke into the market as a copier/printer provider and has since expanded to offer managed IT services, disaster recovery, cybersecurity and document management.
Doceo employs 45 people with three working at the new Lebanon office.
Last month, the company relocated its Lancaster County service center from Highland Drive in West Hempfield to 1697 Oregon Pike in Manheim Township.
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