Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:13PM - 391 Views

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HAZLE TWP. – A Yonkers, N.Y.-based shipping pallet rental company has leased 98,518 square feet in a building in Humboldt Industrial Park and expects to create 40 new jobs.

The lease between Peco Pallet and Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services takes effect Jan. 1, said Ed Jordan, Peco's director, field operations -- North America. The first employees will start work the week of Dec. 10, he said, with others being hired in groups beginning Jan. 2.

All employees will be hired locally, Jordan said.

We anticipate having production lines delivered, installed and operational by early February and anticipate being at full speed by May, Jordan said. We will begin operations in January on temporary lines with transition to permanent automated lines occurring in mid-February.

On its website, Peco says it is the second largest pallet pooling company in North America. It was formed in 1997 when a group of independent pallet recyclers joined forces to compete with a dominant, overseas-owned company. Private-equity firm The Pritzker Group acquired a controlling interest in Peco, which also has operations in Canada and Mexico, in 2011.

Peco manufactures wooden pallets that are then rented to major retail, grocery and warehousing firms and continually reused.

The pallet company joins mattress maker E.S. Kluft & Co. as the second tenant in the 410,000-square-foot building at 1104 North Park Drive that was built by Mericle on speculation. Kluft will lease 100,000 square feet and will create 50 new jobs, Mericle spokesman Jim Cumming said in a release.

Jim Hilsher, Mericle vice president, coordinated the lease transaction with CBRE Inc. Vice President Vincent Ranalli, who represented the pallet company.

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