Stabler Pathways Logo

Stabler Corporate Center to be renamed Stabler Pathways

At the 10-year milestone of the 755-acre land gift, the new name will better reflect the diversity of uses and interconnectedness of the existing businesses, facilities, and parcels.

In 2012, Lehigh was the recipient of one of the most generous gifts in its history, a donation from the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation of 755 acres of land in Upper Saucon Township. At the time, it was one of the largest land donations to an institution of higher education. This year, the university honors the 10-year anniversary of the gift that then-president of Lehigh, Alice Gast, said had the potential to be “an important part of Lehigh’s long-term future.”

“Working with our partners and the community, our plans continue to be guided by a need to maximize benefits in support of Lehigh’s mission, while ensuring responsible use in line with Mr. Stabler’s vision of economic development for the region and good planning that benefits the community,” says Lehigh’s President Joseph J. Helble ’82. “Lehigh views the gift as a long-term asset of the university that is part of planning that is measured in decades as opposed to years.”

The Stablers were longtime donors to Lehigh. Donald B. Stabler ’30, who passed away in December 1997, was one of Lehigh’s leading benefactors. In 2008, under the terms of his will, the Stabler Foundation made a gift of $34.2 million to the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Scholarship Fund originally created in 1965. More than 5,500 students have benefited from this gift as part of the Stabler Scholarship program, including 400 during the 2021-2022 academic year. Mr. Stabler also served on Lehigh’s Board of Trustees and as president of the Alumni Association. The gift of land from his estate, which included an additional gift of $1 million in scholarships, extended his legacy and highlights his positive impact on the university and the region.

Picture of the Promenade Shops

The Promenade Shops are part of Stabler Pathways, a multi-faceted development in the heart of the Lehigh Valley.

Stabler Corporate Center, which represents the majority of the Stabler land owned by Lehigh, has now been renamed Stabler Pathways to better reflect the diversity of uses and the interconnectedness of the existing facilities and parcels. Stabler Pathways is a multi-faceted development in the heart of the Lehigh Valley, spans 1,000 acres. It is a unique and vibrant community located between Route I-78 and the picturesque slopes of South Mountain in Center Valley, home to Olympus Corporation of the Americas, Penn State University Lehigh Valley, The Promenade Shops, Swim-In Zone, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Springhill Suites by Marriott, and a myriad of other companies. Recently, Good Shepherd and Lehigh Valley Health Network began construction on their facilities.

“Stabler Pathways already has the foundation of a vibrant community,” says Mark Ironside, assistant vice president of Business Services at Lehigh. “We hope to improve the connection between the various businesses, organizations, shops, hotels and restaurants in terms of walkability, outdoor spaces, and networking opportunities, building on its presence as a town center.”

The focus of projects to be developed at Stabler Pathways is on long-term ground leases in line with Lehigh’s long-term ownership intentions. Lehigh is seeking projects that would enhance the area through job creation, additional needed services, and through meeting housing needs that also support the Promenade Shops and other amenities while aligning with the township’s sustainability goals.

In terms of the other parcels, Lehigh meets regularly with staff and officials from Upper Saucon Township to ensure alignment of development plans with the broader regional and community objectives. Lehigh’s Real Estate Office participated in the township’s development of an Upper Saucon Township Draft Comprehensive Development Plan to ensure any plans are in alignment with the long-term development goals of the region.

Lehigh has been working to preserve the remains of the President Pump Engine House, once housing the largest single-steam engine in the world. Lehigh received grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to remove overgrowth vegetation, survey the structure, generate construction drawings for stabilization work and complete architectural design work on the future site, including pathways and signage.

“This new name reflects its strong foundation of diverse retail, healthcare, corporations, and amenities,” says Erin Kintzer, Lehigh’s director of Real Estate Services. “Lehigh University is grateful to the Stabler Foundation for its generous support of the University and the overall community. Stabler Pathways proudly extends the legacy of Donald and Dorothy Stabler.”