Tuesday, March 22, 2011

832-Unit Development Planned in Bethlehem Township

For open space lovers, it was the best and worst of both worlds. At their March 21 meeting, Bethlehem Township Commissioners were given a brief overview of the Housenick Estate park. But they were also introduced to Madison Farms, a major subdivision that replaces the defunct “Field of Dreams.”

The Housenick Estate Park is a 55-acre tract donated to the Township in 2006, located off Christian Springs Road. A master plan study of the park will be presented to the public on Thursday, April 14, 7 PM at the Municipal Building. "It's very important that the citizens, who are going to be the beneficiaries of this estate for many decades to come, have their chance to understand what's coming," said Commissioner Thomas Nolan.

Over 100 acres, Madison Farms is a mixed residential and commercial village-style development located off Freemansburg Avenue. Developer KRE Group, represented by Tom Gough, described multi-family and single residences, totalling 832 units, consisting of 565 apartments, 210 town houses and 57 single-family homes. In addition, 17 acres slated for commercial development, surrounding an artificial pond. Gough hopes to attract restaurants and a large grocer.

Township Manager Howard Kutzler complimented the walkways, hidden driveways and garages, a private community center, and building heights that gradually increase from West to East, which will protect the views of Wagner Farms’ residents. Another “neat feature” is a walkway to the Township park, which will enable residents to walk or cycle there, instead of driving along Freemansburg Avenue. Kutzler likes what he calls a “nice Northeastern feel.”

Township Commissioners took no action on either plan. Madison Farms will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on March 28.

Below is a picture of the Housenick Estate Park plan.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

565 apartments in Bethlehem Township?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

For two reasons:

1. It's Bethlehem Township. Apartments will bring out the pitchforks and torches.

2. The "expensive" apartment market is bad. In this market, the people that need the apartments can't afford them, and the ones that can have an endless array of rental options on single family dwellings, townhouses, condos.

Anonymous said...

What anon 1:25 said... so true

Anonymous said...

OH boy!! More "luxury" townhouses. Send us more of that Section 8 human flotsam.

Anonymous said...

The overall cost of this development will kill it before it begins. Too much money to make it work with no market.

Who in this economy will be able to afford $1,200 a month rents and homes that cost $400,000 on up?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that Bethlehem Twsp. Police Officers are allowing this to happen. They use that property as if its their personal recreational park (hunting deer and fishing). They chase everyone out of there for trespassing. Rotten Bastards.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What ever happened to that plan for apartments on the old Barbosa trailer park on Freemansburg Ave? I remember most of the Township running around with their "pitchforks and torches" over that one.

Bernie O'Hare said...

defunct

Anonymous said...

Skip the pond & private community center and build a school and hire teachers to support the development.

How are developers able to get away with this?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:52 You have to be kidding me. Your comment shows, with all due respect, an ignorance of what is happening. If the development happened tomorrow it would be a school problem. This thing will never happen as others mention, or it will be phased in over 20 years. The BASD is practically built out and has more than enough capacity in its existing buildings. Look at Northeast and Broughal with the nice new facilities. Any kids from this development can easily be absorbed into the multitude of elementary , middle and high schools that comprise the BASD. Who said they will go to school in Bethlehem Township? Who will teach them? Eeasy answer the current faculty.

Daniel said...

I agree, we need less residential development but we do need more commercial property for businesses.

Anonymous said...

Over 100 acres, Madison Farms is a mixed residential and commercial village-style development located off Freemansburg Avenue. Developer KRE Group, represented by Tom Gough, described multi-family and single residences, totalling 832 units, consisting of 565 apartments, 210 town houses and 57 single-family homes. In addition, 17 acres slated for commercial development, surrounding an artificial pond. Gough hopes to attract restaurants and a large grocer.


Won't this project require a new school? How much does that cost?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to that plan for apartments on the old Barbosa trailer park on Freemansburg Ave? I remember most of the Township running around with their "pitchforks and torches" over that one.

6:18 PM

Not only the Apartments. Don't
forget the destroyed dreams of foreced relocation by former mobile park residents who for the past few years have passed their former homes, now an overgrown eyesore.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:05 PM:

Ignorance is a bit much for an opinion.

The development is in Bethlehem Twp where the kids would go to elementary school, Farmersville or Miller Heights.
Middle school would be East Hills and high school would be Freedom.

My point is that a developer is able to come in and build without incurring any expenses in the future which then belongs to the local communities, services such as roads, water, sewer, schools, fire, police and any other related municipal service available.

I do agree that this probably will not happen in light of the current state of the economy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am fairly certain that Pektr's plan to turn that trailer park into condos fell by the wayside. I know he had trouble getting planning approval, and then he had financial problems himself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Won't this project require a new school?"

Apartments especially will add to the burdens at BASD.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see the school district come out in opposition to this plan.

The last thing the Township and the school district needs is more residential development. When you consider the cost of residential development in the roads you need to maintain and plow, the recreation facilities you need to provide and the schools you need for the kids, residential development of any kind is a hit to the municipal wallet. You are lucky to break even.

Even retail development is problematic. Ask Whitehall Township. They spend a ton of money providing police service because of the amount of retail area they have in the Township.

Anonymous said...

The last I remember about the former project called Field of Dreams was that it is fully zoned by right for residential housing. There is nothing that the school district can do about it and I agree with the other poster that there is plenty of capacity in the many BASD schools to absorb any school age kids this development will generate. We need the growth and the taxes that it will generate for the County and Town. Its next to a highway and industrial park. Ok in my opine. Let it rip.