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30A — January 27 - February 9, 2012 — Economic Development — Mid

Atlantic Real Estate Journal

MAREjournal.com

Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Newly expanded Ben Franklin TechVentures incubator helps PA start-ups create jobs

T

he Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP) creates and retains highly paid, sustainable 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 University 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 Š2011 Halkin Photography LLC technology-based incuba- resident companies with the tor/post incubator facility support of an experienced that is owned and managed incubator staff, the synergy of by BFTP. BFTV provides working in proximity to other

early-stage companies, rental costs lower than market rates, flexible floor planning to accommodate specific needs, and access to Lehigh’s facilities, equipment, faculty, and student 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 quartercentury of operation. Lehigh donated the TechVentures building to Ben Franklin to expand its business incubator

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in 2007, and Ben Franklin completely renovated this former Bethlehem Steel lab. This building addressed the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 TechVentures2, 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 Franklin TechVentures2 is registered to be a certified Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, with a photovoltaic solar array on its rooftop, and the latest energy management and light-harvesting technologies, produced by Coopersburg, PA-based Lutron Electronics, integrated throughout the building. The expansion won the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association Project of the Year award in 2011, and received first-place national honors in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 TechVentures and its predecessor, the Ben Franklin Business Incubator, have graduated 54 successful companies, which grossed more than $408 million in annual revenue last year and created more than 5,200 jobs. Ben Franklin TechVentures2 brings together entrepreneurs, Ben Franklin staff, and Lehigh continued on 32A

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WP Realty sells Festival at Exton Berkshire Square for 40.6 million

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WP Realty sells Festival at Exton Berkshire Square for 40.6 million

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