THREE DECADES OF COMMITMENT TO PENNSYLVANIA
Joe Fitzpatrick, Founder & Shareholder of the Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba P.C. law firm (FLB) and a member of Team Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, is passionate about the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania. He and his partners started FLB nearly 30 years ago in 1988 when they realized the region was shifting economically and demographically. The Lehigh Valley was coming together as a larger and more integrated market, rather than a series of individual towns or cities. Companies like Bethlehem Steel were phasing out, while technology and healthcare economies were emerging. Construction of I-78 was underway, making northeastern metropolitan markets closer than ever. Fitzpatrick and his founding business partners, Joseph Bubba and Edward Lentz, seized the opportunity in the region’s evolution by starting FLB to serve the emerging and solidified Lehigh Valley metro market. Today, FLB’s practice encompasses the entire eastern portion of our commonwealth.
“Because of regionalization, marketing and planning efforts, our practice was able to expand well beyond the Lehigh Valley, throughout Eastern Pennsylvania and even into New Jersey,” Fitzpatrick explained. “I think that being in a midsized metro area, in a prime location between New York and Philadelphia – with easy access to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh – we were professionally prepared and geographically primed to take advantage of the emerging business and economic revitalization that hit its stride in the late 1980s.” The firm started with six attorneys focused on land use and real estate, corporate law, healthcare, taxation and estate planning. It has grown to include more than a dozen practice areas and 32 attorneys. One thing that hasn’t changed is the business-oriented nature of the firm.
FLB’s engagement in Eastern Pennsylvania and its positive impacts in a burgeoning economy are undeniable. Currently, Fitzpatrick and FLB are leading a team for Rockefeller Group Development of New York in developing a multi-parcel project of 600 acres on land owned by Lehigh Valley International Airport. The anchor of this project is the largest FedEx Ground hub in the country – currently under construction – that is being complemented by four additional independent facilities. These facilities are tied to interstate highways, with the aid of significant developer funding, in cooperation with PennDOT.
In the healthcare arena, FLB has been at the forefront in the development of four new hospitals and healthcare campuses for St. Luke’s University Health Network, encompassing projects from Bucks County north into the Poconos.
Other recent accomplishments include the high-end retail developments such as the Promenade Shops Lifestyle Center in Center Valley and the Trader Joe’s distribution and processing facilities. FLB has also helped bring office and mixed use campuses, such as the Stabler Center and Lehigh Valley Corporate Center, to the area. The firm’s litigation, human resources, transactional and corporate groups, work closely with the clients and project attorneys in developing long-term relationships and creation of opportunities throughout the eastern half of Pennsylvania. Many of these projects and developments would not be possible without strong partnership with government agencies at every level.
This brief overview shows that FLB has been a catalyst for Lehigh Valley’s economic development. As the firm has grown, its desire to help the region thrive has also grown. FLB is a very visible and energetic presence in the Lehigh Valley and makes community involvement a priority for its employees. “It is not just about having our name on a board list – it’s about being active in driving nonprofits and charities to achieve their mission.” To see a full list of organizations that FLB employees are leading and committed to supporting, click here.
According to Fitzpatrick, FLB supports Team Pennsylvania because the firm’s “commitment to our clients, the development of Pennsylvania’s economy, and the resultant job growth is shared with Team Pennsylvania’s core mission.” He continued to explain that he believes FLB’s business practice, employment, transactional, corporate and development skill sets help Pennsylvania remain competitive in attracting new business and jobs. Fitzpatrick and FLB value the opportunity to work with other leaders in government and the private sector to advance Team Pennsylvania’s mission of improving our commonwealth’s economic prosperity.