In the 1960s, Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna, NY facility was among the largest steel plants in the world, employing 22,000 people. The sprawling, 1,300 acre steel plant located on the shores of Lake Erie was once a symbol of the region’s industrial might.
Originally founded as the Lackawanna Steel Company in 1902, the plant grew rapidly, and in 1922, was purchased by the second largest steel company in the United States Bethlehem Steel. The Lackawanna plant’s prosperity lasted well into the early 1970’s.
Bethlehem Steel closed most of its Lackawanna plant by 1983 due to rising operational costs and the decreased demand for steel.
Today, the site is poised for rebirth and new business growth, with a strategic effort underway to attract industrial businesses to the location, including state incentives and designation as a Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA). Recent highlights of such efforts include:
- Location of a Canadian steel pipe company on 40+ acres of land on the site
- Relocation of a two-mile rail line on the site – funded by New York State – so that hundreds of acres of land are accessible for development
- 400 acres of shovel-ready land available for development
- Cleanup actions at the Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. (TRI) site, an approximately 500 acre portion of the former steel plant facility
- Steel Winds, an eight-windmill wind farm owned by BQ Energy, opened on the old plant’s slag heaps in September 2006. Another 14 turbines were added in 2012.