Commercial parks have three categories in the region: industrial parks, corporate centers, and business parks.
Commercial parks in the region began in the 1950s. Prior to that certain areas of the communities in the region had multi and single industrial buildings scattered throughout neighborhoods and major office buildings concentrated in the downtowns.
A trend began to build industrial buildings on the undeveloped edges of the region’s major cities. Beginning with the World War II effort, buildings such as the Murray Plant built in South Scranton, built to assemble airplane wings was one of the largest buildings in the region, consisting of 460,000 square feet.
This was the forerunner in our region of the million-square-foot buildings being built today.
Follow the rail lines in the region and you will find the next phase of industrial real estate. Before the interstate system, rail was the way to move goods into and out of the region. Since rail ran through the communities, the post war workforce sometimes walk to work. Keyser Valley Industrial Park, South Scranton/Minooka to Carbondale, the entire West Side of the Wyoming Valley from Kingston to Pittston, Tobyhanna Depot and the South Poplar Street area of Hazleton.
With the unfortunate decline of rail and the building of the interstate system, the next generation of industrial parks began to be developed along those corridors and is where the concentration of industrial buildings are located today.
The next generation of industrial park development began in the 1960s and is continuing today.
One of the first office parks in the region was built in 1959 in South Abington Township.
Privately developed by the then International Salt Company to house their new corporate offices, the Abington Executive Park remained largely undeveloped for many years until three office buildings were built in the 1970s and ’80s.
When International Salt was sold subsequent owners of the undeveloped land decided to sell the former headquarters and the remaining land.
By that time the office market shifted away from the Abingtons and focused on the I-81 corridor. Through a creative approach, Hinerfeld Commercial developed a plan for subdivision of the remaining land to developers and selling the corporate offices to Allied Services.
Today the region has two office parks specifically developed for office and institutional tenants.
The East Mountain Corporate Center in Plains, and the Glenmaura Corporate Center in Moosic are on the I-81 corridor. Theses parks have restrictive covenants specifying the office uses permitted. The intent is to create pleasant, unique working environments suitable for uses other than industrial.
The business park usually permit both industrial and office users through covenants. The region has seen business parks grow in recent years. The first was the CAN DO Corporate Center in Drums. It houses mostly office buildings with specific industrial uses allowed. The Jessup Small Business Park/ Valley View Business Park in Lackawanna is the next generation and the largest of this type is CenterPoint in Pittston, to date primarily industrial uses however a new office building is currently under construction. The region enjoys a wide selection of types of business parks in addition to those mentioned.
Outside the urban corridor there are parks in Wayne, Monroe and Schuylkill Counties that provide great locations for businesses with the blend of living and working in our Region’s beautiful rural settings.