Demand for the Lehigh Valley continues at a red hot pace, according to the new mid-year development snapshot from the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

The commission says the theme this year is more, both in residential and industrial.

10 million new square feet of industrial has been proposed just in the first six months of this year, a new high.

Unsurprisingly, 8.3 million of it is warehouses, a 50% increase from this time last year.

 "I was thinking that we might have a little bit of a leveling off because of the economy and inflation that has not been the case, it continues to accelerate," said Becky Bradley, Executive Director of the planning commission.

Bradley says instead we've seen the opposite.

2.4 million square feet of warehouse space has been approved so far this year. 20 million square feet of warehousing has been approved since 2017.

"Our total industrial market is well over 100 million square feet, when 6 or 7 years ago it was around 60 million," Bradley said. "It's still a lower cost to live here and a lower cost to do business - specifically this area, while remaining well connected."

It may be hard to believe, but the amount approved has actually dropped in recent years. Bradley attributes this to better growth management, like traffic management, storm water runoff, and environment issues.

"You start to notice come 2020, 2021, so far this year our local governments aren't so quick to approves these facilities. They're asking critical questions," Bradley said.

As for housing, 2,900 units have been proposed in just the first six months, a new high as well.

But there is a lag of about two to four years from proposal to finished construction.

"If those are approved by local governments it will go a long way to starting to unknot the housing shortage we have,"  Bradley said.

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