Air Products’ (NYSE:APD) Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi today told an overflow gathering of employees during a Town Hall that the company’s new global headquarters facility will, as previously stated, be built in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. In fact, it will be constructed not far from the company’s existing headquarters location.
Air Products has made the decision to build its new headquarters facility a little over one mile from its existing location on an available 50-acre tract of property southeast of the intersection of Mill Creek Road and the Route 222 Bypass. Groundbreaking is expected in March 2019 with occupancy targeted by Summer 2021. The new location will be the base for approximately 2,000 Air Products employees with capacity for growth.
“From the beginning of this process to develop a new headquarters facility, we have never wavered in our commitment to remain in the Lehigh Valley. Now, we have made the location decision and we begin our preparations to build facilities that represent our world-class company,” said Ghasemi. “This is a very exciting time for Air Products as we evolve our headquarters environment to be more beneficial to our employees and take advantage of sustainable technologies to lessen our footprint and reduce operating costs.”
The new headquarters site will include new administration offices, a research and development (R&D) facility, and an enclosed parking structure for employees. A cost estimate is not being disclosed at this time. Air Products’ headquarters will remain at its current location (7201 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown), and employees will continue to work there during construction and completion of the new facilities. The company plans to make its existing 235-acre location available to the real estate market.
Steadfastly focusing on Industrial Gases, Air Products had divested non-core businesses over the last two years. These moves, in combination with other operational changes, have resulted in excess building space at Air Products’ present location, compounded by annual maintenance costs of approximately $20 million at its current 60-year-old location.
“The decision to leave our current headquarters location, with its rich history, was not one we made lightly,” Ghasemi said. “But we believe our new location will afford us a special opportunity to modernize and optimize our office space and R&D facilities and invest in a work environment that motivates and energizes our employees. As a global company operating in more than 50 countries, this new headquarters will reflect the safety, speed, simplicity and self-confidence that move us forward as a world-leading industrial gas company.”