Business Owners in the Bethel Park Industrial Park Form Association to Benefit Members’ Businesses and Bethel Community (Bethel Park, PA, February, 2013)
A growing number of the 120-plus business owners in the 140-acre Bethel Park Industrial Park, are uniting to have a collective “voice” for a more pro business dialogue and outcomes with Bethel Park Municipal officials and Municipal staff. Following nearly a year of planning meetings, the Bethel Park Business Owners’ Association is in place with: defined goals; working committees; a 501 (c) 6 non-profit organizational structure; planned meetings with Bethel Municipal officials, staff and police; intra Park networking events plus member benefits.
“Our primary mission is to improve and sustain a positive corporate operating environment in the Bethel Park Industrial Park thus preserving and enhancing the economic value of our businesses here—both for our benefit and that of the Bethel Park community,” explained Tom Diener, managing partner of Ameri-Source™ Specialty Products, one of the founders of the new Owners’ Association. “We now have a collective “voice,” with strength in numbers, to better address matters dealing with our various buildings and grounds acquisitions, expansions, improvements, security, traffic and other operational matters. Additionally, we are networking with others in the Park, expanding our marketing and sales efforts, benefiting from group purchasing power and providing valuable member benefits and services,” he added.
The Bethel Park Industrial Park is located in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, near the center of Bethel Park, at the intersection of South Park Road and Industrial Boulevard and bordered by Logan Road, and Logan Ponds (two storm water detention ponds) to the south. The Park is approximately nine miles south of downtown Pittsburgh. It is one of the oldest business/industrial parks in Southwestern Pennsylvania—ranking 12th in size among the area’s top 25 office and industrial parks. Formed in the late 1940’s by Dr. McNary, a veterinarian from Castle Shannon, the undeveloped property was then bordered by deep shaft coal mines and rail road properties. Over the years, he sporadically cleared and sold off parcels.
Today the Park consists of a mix of non-polluting, environmentally friendly, companies including: light manufacturing, distribution, machining, vehicle repair, moving/storage, entertainment, medical and construction/renovation firms. Human services include: the Tri-Community South Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Bethel Park School District Transportation Division (hub for school busses) and the UPMC Greater Pittsburgh Ob/Gyn Center. Park employment totals more than 500. Near maximum capacity and without a major developer, a few choice parcels of undeveloped land are available from individual business owners plus several attractive properties are for sale or lease through local realty firms. The Park is zoned “C-2 General Commercial District” and “M Manufacturing, Light Industrial District.”
“Of interest, Mr. Fred Lento, one of the early business owners in the Park, started a similar owners’ association and lobbied for construction of a large directory sign at the Park’s entrance—both are now long gone,” said David Carr, an international management consultant and a coordinator for the Association. “Also, the Bethel Park Municipality commissioned a professional engineering, planning and design study, the ‘Bethel Park Industrial Park Revitalization Effort Phase 1.’ Published in 2005, it addressed many of today’s issues and Park deficiencies with recommended corrective actions. However, there was little follow up by either the Bethel Park Municipality or other parties,“ Carr added.
“The Industrial Park provides a substantial tax base, employment center and is an economic generator for the Bethel Park community. We want to make the Park and Bethel Park more ‘business friendly,’ to maintain, protect and grow our businesses here in the Park and eventually help the 300-plus other business in Bethel Park,” Diener concluded.
Bethel Park Business Owners’ Association meetings are usually held at 12 noon, the first Monday of the month, at 3000 Industrial Blvd. All Park business owners, and interested individuals, are invited to attend. An annual Association membership, with voting rights, is $100. Association events will include: frequent and pro active meetings with Bethel Park Municipal Council, staff and police; document shredding and computer recycling events; a Web site; business networking/trade shows; business and technical training; publicity campaigns; printed directory and four-color directory map; traffic/congestion controls, improving the Park’s electrical power grid and social gatherings.