A home is one of the single biggest investments a family will make –it means finding a community to establish roots in. For a commercial investments, it’s no different. Commercial real estate developers look at communities and the potential economic payoff of those investments.
With Pennsylvania’s energy boom in full force, homeowners and community developers around the state have new hope for future economic growth. But, with these benefits, a variety of questions have risen to the top of residents minds, everything from owner rights, property values and safety. Today, Pennsylvania is facing the potential of building new and repurposing existing pipeline infrastructure to continue development.
Billion dollar energy developments, like large pipeline projects could mean increased budgets for local governments and all of the public service projects our communities benefit from. These benefits are seen through increased budgets for local schools, parks, road upgrades, and fire stations.
Just like the opening of a new shopping mall or the construction of an office center, investments in pipeline development bring economic opportunities and growth to communities. A recent study by Washington County found the “estimated market value of property increased by 2.8 percent (in 2016) from 2015, and the county added $304 million in new construction.” According to a 2014 Zillow study, at the other end of the state, Philadelphia is experiencing a steady increase in home values and new construction continues.
Another study found that “there is no significant impact on the sales price of properties located along natural gas pipelines” plus property owners would also benefit from easements and other payments. These findings were published by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation, disproving negative rumors against property values in relation to energy projects.
Beyond residential property values, commercial real estate has also seen a healthy bump due to the growth of the energy industry throughout Pennsylvania. According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Pittsburgh’s commercial real estate market remains strong,” referencing a report released recently by commercial real estate firm, CBRE Group, referencing the energy industry’s impact on the local real estate market. Vice-president of Energy Facilities Group at CBRE, R.T. Walker said, “as soon as a company moves out, we’re backfilling that space quickly.” He went on to say that the overall vacancy rate for industrial space in western Pennsylvania is near historic lows of 6.8% during the second quarter of 2015.
Pennsylvania’s energy industry provides the Commonwealth with countless benefits. Furthermore, with Pennsylvania being the 2nd highest natural gas producing state, we are faced with the distinct opportunity to supply our communities, the region, and the country with reliable, affordable energy products. To accomplish this, we must support transporting these products safely to domestic markets, which pipelines, in fact are the safest mode to do that.
Pipeline infrastructure investments, such as the Mariner East 2 pipeline, are essential to allow communities and industries continue to flourish. People care about the value of their homes, both financially and emotionally, so it is vital to capitalize on these opportunities in order to continue the economic growth of Pennsylvania’s communities and make the needed pipeline infrastructure investments that will benefit Pennsylvania for years to come.