Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., the distributor of America’s best-selling low cab forward trucks, will open a training and parts distribution center early this summer in CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park East, Jenkins Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
The lease is for the entire 134,442-square-foot building, which was recently developed on speculation by Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services. The project marks the first time Isuzu has combined a training center, to be named “Isuzu Truck University,” and a modern parts distribution center under one roof.
Inside, about 97,000 square feet will be used for parts distribution and 30,000 square feet will be used for technical training. The remainder will be used as office space.
This training facility will complement Isuzu’s existing training center in Garden Grove, California. Isuzu Truck University will serve Isuzu dealerships in the eastern United States. Certified Isuzu technicians will come to the facility for advanced training on internal mechanical components and operations of diesel and gas engines.
“We have long had a need for a training center in the eastern half of the country,” said Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “The CenterPoint property is a flex building, so it’s perfect for our needs now, and it’s large enough to accommodate future growth. And it helps that that it’s in a location that’s both convenient and beautiful.”
“We’re also proud to be creating about 50 new jobs in the community,” Tabel added, “not to mention contributing to the economy when our technicians stay in the area’s hotels and dine in its restaurants when they visit for training.”
Tabel said that Isuzu Truck University’s programs last from one to three days, and teach attendees advanced techniques in diagnosing and repairing Isuzu’s diesel and gasoline engines.
Gerard Champi, president of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, congratulated Isuzu on its decision to open a first of its kind facility in CenterPoint and said he is optimistic that many chamber members and other local businesses will benefit from the project. “We expect the technicians who travel to our area for training will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop at a variety of local retailers,” he said. “We envision a significant economic spinoff from Isuzu’s move to our area”.
The real estate transaction was coordinated by Mericle Vice President Bill Jones and Travis Boyd of CBRE’s Newport Beach, California office and Bill Wolf of CBRE’s Allentown, Pennsylvania office.
Mericle President and CEO Rob Mericle thanked Isuzu’s executives for choosing CenterPoint. Isuzu selecting the most visible building in the park may help Mericle attract additional tenants. “Tens of thousands of people pass by the building every day on Interstate 81,” he said. “We think seeing a name as prominent as Isuzu on the front of the building will help validate CenterPoint as a great place to do business.”
Isuzu commercial trucks have been the best-selling low cab forward trucks in America every year since 1986.
In January 2016, the company announced that it shattered two long-standing sales records in 2015—for the highest parts sales and for sales of Isuzu commercial trucks. Isuzu dealers retailed 20,725 Isuzu trucks to customers in 2015—a record for Isuzu trucks in the United States, and a 10.5 percent gain in Isuzu N-Series sales versus 2014.
Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services developed CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park starting in 2006. With the addition of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, the park is home to 38 tenants which together employ approximately 4,500 people. There are 27 buildings in the park that total 6.75 million square feet.
Founded by Robert K. Mericle, Mericle Construction Inc. self-performs virtually all aspects of development and construction, using its own in-house personnel, Mericle Construction is better able to control costs and fast track delivery schedules to meet its clients’ needs. It fashions itself as a throwback to the “master builder” of old when experienced craftsmen self-performed all aspects of the construction process.