Client:  Berks County (PA) Industrial Development Authority

GG+A was asked to evaluate the market demand for industrial flex and office uses at the approximately 155-acre Reading Regional Airport site owned by the Berks County Industrial Development Authority (“BCIDA”) and the factors that affect the types of land uses and real estate products potentially developed at the BCIDA Reading Airport site.

GG+A’s analysis considered the market from both micro and macro perspectives. At the micro level, we conducted eight interviews with knowledgeable developers and real estate brokers. We conducted two interviews with representatives of business operating in Reading, including one of Berk County’s largest employers and a business with a long history of operating at the Reading Airport site. We conducted 10 interviews with community leaders and economic development and workforce specialists knowledgeable about the local economy and labor base and workforce needs of local businesses. We also interview the Reading Airport manager.

We directed these interviews in conjunction with a review of area industrial flex- and office- space building space supply to identify the primary geographic areas from which users tend to move and which compete with the BCIDA Reading Airport site for users. We also elicited information and insight about the advantages and disadvantages of the Reading Airport site for industrial and office uses. With the assistance of Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce & Industry, GG+A designed and analyzed a survey of industrial and non-industrial businesses aimed at obtaining information about their location decisions and potential expansion plans.

At the macro level, we projected demand for building space in the relevant market area by analyzing employment data for firms in economic sectors likely to use space similar to land uses that could be developed at the BCIDA Reading Airport site given an identification of the amount and characteristics of the supply of comparable space and land in competing business and industrial parks within the relevant market area.

Development of the 155-acre site, coined Berks Park 183, has recently received approvals from Berks County commissioners and infrastructure improvements to the site have begun. The BCIDA received a $2.5 million state economic development grant to assist in preparing the site for development. The first of seven parcels has recently been sold to an industrial developer (see Reading Eagle article).