Openings and closings: commercial events in the region | Economic news


From new apartments approved to restaurants reopening and ready to serve, here’s your weekly look at what’s happening with businesses in your neighborhood.

ATIYEH WAREHOUSES: 1492 Van Buren Road, Palmer Township

The township supervisory board refused conditional use of two warehouses proposed by developer Abe Atiyeh. The two buildings would have covered 267,600 square feet combined on a 36-acre lot.

The potential for negative impact on the community was cited, along with concerns about drainage and traffic. Get the full story.


B. BRAUN MEDICAL: 824 12th Ave., Bethlehem

Earlier this month, B. Braun presented a new building. Then this week he bought a range of devices that secure catheters.

The medical device maker did not disclose pricing for Starboard Medical’s Clif-FIX line.

B. Braun manufactures devices for intravenous therapy, drug delivery and infusion, among others. Starboard Catheter Devices adds another product line. Read more.


CORE5 INDUSTRY PARTNERS: 7503 Kernsville Road, Lowhill Township

The Township of Lowhill Planning Commission rejected a warehouse project on Monday. The building would have covered 100,750 square feet on a 21.6-acre lot. This was after the proposal was reduced from 190,960 square feet earlier.

Residents opposed it, saying the plan would change the character of the rural township.

Another larger warehouse has already been approved for land nearby, while a third has been refused.

The land is in a planned industrial/commercial area, where warehouses are a “conditional use”, allowing the township to impose certain conditions before approving the development. Get all the details.


JUST A DREAM FROZEN YOGURT: 289 Downtown Boulevard, Forks Township

The family yogurt shop closed last Sunday after 10 years. Kurt and Gina Stocker, along with Karen Hickey, have decided to retire from the business. Kurt had already retired once after 25 years with the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Fans on social media wished them well and regretted the closure. Read more.


KHANISA’S PUDDING BAR: 27 N. Seventh St., Allentown

Khanisa’s Dessert Cafe is hosting a grand opening today at its new downtown Allentown Market location. The store moved from Northampton Street to Easton, where the owners said construction issues were hurting their business. The Pudding Bar will be selling $10 sundaes all day today. Get more information.


POLYMER MOLDS INC.: Ben Franklin Technology Center, 116 Research Dr., Bethlehem

The two-year-old company says its glue for bonding carbon and synthetic fibers is a big step towards creating lighter and stronger fiber-reinforced materials. This could apply to everything from golf clubs to dental work to airplanes, according to Mussel Polymers.

It’s hard to bond the fibers because they’re smooth and chemically inert, but Mussel Polymers has imitated how seashell molds can attach themselves to smooth surfaces.

The company said in a press release that it is in talks to develop new composite materials with its poly (catechol) styrene, or PCS, adhesive. Read the full story.


POKE BAR 25 & BUBBLE TEA: 2910 Easton Avenue, Bethlehem Township

The Asian cafe at Shops at Bethlehem (the Giant mall on Easton Avenue in Bethlehem Township, on the border with the city of Bethlehem) will open in late November or early December.

Owner Matt Li will be serving bubble tea, a Taiwanese drink often made with tapioca balls, and poke bowls. Bowls will contain rice, noodles, lettuce and choices of vegetables and cooked and uncooked spicy tuna or salmon, as well as cooked chicken or crabmeat. Read more.


ROSA’S CORNER: 2-4 E. Broad St., Bethlehem

The former Rosanna’s restaurant, which closed in February, will reopen as a delicatessen and bar. The downtown Bethlehem landmark will serve specialty loxes, bagels, sandwiches, salads and more. Rosanna Crisci and Cara Paredes lead the new venture.

No opening date was available on the Facebook page of the new Rosa’s Corner. Learn more.


VICTAULIC: 4901 Kessersville Road, Forks Township

The 103-year-old pipe and valve fittings manufacturer expanded into Tennessee with the acquisition of Tennessee Metal Fabricating, price undisclosed. TMF, as the company is known, is expanding Victaulic’s large diameter pipe capability.

The acquired company specializes in water, wastewater and infrastructure projects.

TMF has about 30 employees and is located in Rock Island, Tennessee, roughly between Nashville and Knoxville. Read the full story.


WRENCHTEC: 3315 Sullivan Trail, Forks Township

The former Forks Diner will serve auto repair customers in early spring 2023. Dave Fiore and Sherief Elsamra, partners at the Wrenchtec business in Nazareth, have purchased the former diner and are converting it into a six-bay garage.

Fiore said their original location worked so well that they decided to expand to Forks. Read more.


Southeastern AP O&C


After a rocky start, the new business opened this week. Owners Mark and Dottie Spillane, who were once homeless, took the time to renovate the storefront, but as they prepared to open, a dispute with their payment company got in the way.

Shift4 Paymentsa payment processor based in Lehigh County, stepped in.

Business manager Michael Isaacman and his brother, founder Jared Isaacman, heard about the problem and provided a POS system and more. Shift4 processes payments at major league stadiums, college venues and now handles deli sales on East High Street.

It made the difference, and the shop is open.

“It’s very moving,” said Dottie Spillane. “I almost cried at the inauguration.” Read the full article.


MID PENN BANK: 480 Norristown Road, Blue Bell

A new banking center has opened to replace Mid Penn’s 300 Sentry Parkway East branch. This office closed after 12 years in favor of the larger branch at 480 Norristown Road.

The new location has a traditional desk for customers as well as an ATM and drive-thru. All accounts from the old branch will be transferred to Norristown Road.

The current Mid Penn Bancorp was founded in Dauphin County in 1858 as the Millersburg Trust Company. It now has 36 retail outlets and approximately $3 billion in assets. Get more information.


Poconos Charcoal O&C

BALL JUNCTION: 1903 W. Market Street, Pottsville

The new “balloon bar” held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday with the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce.

Balloon Junction makes custom balloon creations for private or corporate events.


RENTSCHLER ICE CREAM: 33 Main Street West, Ringtown

The local store and lottery vendor has reopened, just a few doors down from its former location. Rentschler’s former location was destroyed by fire in February.

Rentschler’s also sells tobacco and candy, and according to its Facebook page, will be doing food again once everything is set up in the new location. Check social media for more details. Rentschler’s will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Read more.


West NJ O&C

MILL STREET AESTHETICS: 313 Mill Street, Belvidere

The day spa and skincare boutique will be open today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a grand opening at 11:30 a.m.

Esthetician Jodi Gross offers “personalized skincare in a relaxing spa setting for anyone in need of self-care, pampering, and skincare enhancement.”

Services include facials, facial enhancements, eyebrows and eyelashes, hair removal and more.


PROVIDENT BANK: Branch at 190 Roseberry St., Phillipsburg

Provident Financial Services has agreed to acquire Lakeland Bancorp in an equity transaction valued at $1.3 billion, creating a bank that will hold 4% of deposits in New Jersey.

Provident Financial is the parent company of Provident Bank, which has branches in Bucks County and the Lehigh Valley in addition to its home in the Garden State. Provident will be the surviving bank and will retain the New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol PFS. Get the full story.


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