Air Products (NYSE: APD) today held a construction celebration and ceremonial groundbreaking for its new global headquarters in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Over 200 people, including Air Products colleagues and state and local elected officials and dignitaries attended the event, where company Chairman, President and CEO, Seifi Ghasemi, spoke of the headquarters’ importance to Air Products’ future.
“We need a headquarters that represents who we are as a world-leading company. We want to create modern office and R&D facilities that are energizing, collaborative and inclusive. When you see the new global headquarters renderings, without any doubt, the new office space and world-class R&D facility will be representative of who we are and what we stand for. This new headquarters will exemplify our “4S” culture and reflect the safety, speed, simplicity and self-confidence that have driven our success and will continue to do so,” said Ghasemi.
Ghasemi added that, “We will also emphasize a fifth “S” with these new facilities – Sustainability. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do as a business, every day around the world. That’s important to our customers, our partners, and our talented and committed employees.” Sustainability features at the new location include a much smaller building footprint with a tall office building and parking garage, highly energy-efficient buildings, solar panels, green roofs, and a state-of-the-art fueling station for fueling hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Air Products’ new headquarters is being built a little over one mile from its existing location on a 50-acre tract of property southeast of the intersection of Mill Creek Road and the Route 222 Bypass in the Lehigh Valley. Occupancy is targeted for Summer 2021. The new location will be the base for approximately 2,000 Air Products employees with capacity for growth.
During the event, the headquarters location’s new address, 1940 Air Products Boulevard, was unveiled. Air Products was founded in 1940, and Ghasemi elaborated on the importance of honoring the company’s foundation and history.
“I believe very strongly that every company has a foundational culture, and there is value in preserving that, even as you move that culture forward. Air Products has a nearly 80-year history – most of it right here in the Lehigh Valley. There are certain values instilled in people because of where we are today, because of the people who live in this area, who contribute to its success, and who call it home. There is a lot of value in preserving that. So, it became clear this location worked best for us, and we have never wavered from the decision to stay,” said Ghasemi.
Also speaking at the event were Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver, Pennsylvania State Senator Pat Browne, and State Representative Gary Day.
“The Wolf Administration is so excited to see Air Products establishing a new global headquarters here in the Lehigh Valley, where they’ve had a presence since the 1940s. We need businesses to contribute to the long-term growth of our economy by doing exactly what Air Products is doing here today – by committing to invest in Pennsylvania and our workers,” said Neil Weaver, Executive Deputy Secretary for the Department of Community and Economic Development.
“Air Products has a long and exceptional history as a global leader in providing industrial gases and equipment to a wide-range of industries internationally,” Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne said. “Its innovation and technological advancements along with its workforce of 16,000 diverse, highly-qualified and talented employees have kept this company at the forefront of its industry and ahead of its competitors.
“But while Air Products continues to grow and expand its footprint worldwide, it has remained dedicated to its roots here in the Lehigh Valley. With other attractive locations available to build its new headquarters throughout the country and the world, Air Products' decision to relocate within the Lehigh Valley speaks volumes to its leadership’s and employees’ commitment to and investment in the local community and the Commonwealth. As one of the area’s largest employers, that commitment to keep high-paying, world-class jobs here in the Lehigh Valley is truly significant and invaluable to this region.”
“After over 70 years of commitment to the people living in this area, Air Products decided to recommit to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania with their new headquarters location. I look forward to Pennsylvania being just as committed to them,” said Representative Gary Day.
The new headquarters site will include new administration offices, a research and development (R&D) facility, and an enclosed parking structure for employees. Throughout construction, Air Products’ headquarters will remain at its current location (7201 Hamilton Boulevard, Allentown), and employees will continue to work there until completion of the new facilities. In addition to a previously announced agreement for a portion of the site, the company has made the balance of its existing location available to the real estate market.
Steadfastly focusing on Industrial Gases, Air Products had divested non-core businesses over the last three years. These moves, in combination with other operational changes, have resulted in excess building space at Air Products’ present 60-year-old location.