By Gracie Mullan
Image: Uncovering PA
Philipsburg, Centre County, is getting a makeover.
Lee Industries President Joshua Montler purchased four properties in downtown Philipsburg as part of the ongoing effort to continue diversifying the region’s economy, which once relied heavily on coal mining. In addition to Lee Industries, a Walmart Distribution Center, PMG Pennsylvania Corporation and Drucker Diagnostics are a few of the companies that have become part of the community, bringing over 2,000 jobs to the Philipsburg area.
The MVEDP has always been here to help entrepreneurs, existing businesses and businesses interested in setting up shop here. We have the tools for development: building space, loan programs, land, and a great workforce.
The Borough of Philipsburg recently acquired and demolished four properties downtown that had become eyesores in the community adjacent to Lee Industries, a manufacturer of stainless steel and alloy processing equipment.
The Borough cleared approximately four acres of land to be acquired by the Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership (MVEDP), a non-profit economic development office focused on providing resources to businesses in the region. The acquisition, per state and local codes, allows the Borough to work with an economic development office to facilitate the sale of properties to private companies. In this case, Lee Industries.
Lee Industries purchased the properties in July from MVEDP. The properties will be transformed into business spaces for Lee Industries with an emphasis on making them aesthetically pleasing for the surrounding community. Construction will begin later this year.
The improvements will not only improve the value of Lee Industries by providing a welcoming exterior to domestic and international clients, but to Philipsburg as well. This land makeover is only a small part of what MVEDP is contributing to the region economically. According to Stan LaFuria, the executive director of MVEDP, up to 20 job opportunities have been created by the company, strengthening the Philipsburg Borough and the Moshannon Valley region.
“The MVEDP has always been here to help entrepreneurs, existing businesses and businesses interested in setting up shop here,” said LaFuria.
“We have the tools for development: building space, loan programs, land, and a great workforce. We are looking to develop some additional land into a new business park, for additional development, but this takes time and money. Having ready-to-go sites available is critical to future development efforts,” he said.