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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pektor Pitches Office Park Next to Route 33

Lou Pektor
At a time when Bethlehem Township residents have complained loudly to Commissioners about traffic and storm waters, developer Lou Pektor has pitched yet another building project. This one is called Mill Creek Corporate Center, though there's no creek by that name in the township. Instead of straddling a stream, this 72-acre development is located along Route 33, extending from the William Penn Highway north to Church Road. It includes ten of what Pektor calls "Class A" office buildings, to be built over ten years, and occupy 550,000 to 600,000 sq ft.

"Stormwater is an issue; traffic is a huge issue," Pektor conceded.  He indicated that he plans to set aside 15-20 acres for open space, though he acknowledged that land will be used to address stormwater.

Over 60% of the project will be impervious coverage. "In looking at this, I just see black top," lamented Martin Zawarski. He suggested that, instead of all those parking lots, the developer should construct a garage.

"I can't sit here and say we can afford to do it," responded Pektor. The "we" to who Pektor referred is PennCap Properties, which touts itself as "the leading owner and operator of class 'A' office and flex properties in the Lehigh Valley." Its portfolio includes 32 properties comprising approximately 1.4 million sq ft of office and office/flex space located in six corporate office parks within the Lehigh Valley.

Phil Barnard challenged Pektor to explain what benefits this development would bring to the township.

"125 million," was Pektor's reply. "We'll not create one child," he added, referring to the drain that residential dwellings place on school districts.

"We have an area problem," Tom Nolan told Pektor. Ticking off some planned and existing development, Nolan worries about how to address the William Penn Highway. He added there is no public sewer or water.  


Anonymous said...

No public water or sewer? How will that work for a project this size? Composting toilets?

Lighthouse said...

""I can't sit here and say we can afford to do it," responded Pektor." I know that is in reference to the garage, but...

The Route 33 corridor has long been slated for economic development to diversify the tax base, though the acknowledged traffic/stormwater issues might be overly problematic(??).

My immediate take-away, however, is that while Pektor has been involved in some nice projects elsewhere, what has his track record been the past decade in Bethlehem Township? PPL tract/Farmersville Road proposal is still a field (that one is a good thing); the old Barbosa tract on Freemansburg Ave perhaps should be renamed "Mount Pektor" after making all of those people move only to create a big dirt pile; the proposed Sheetz/plaza across from Farmersville Elem is an eyesore. I am sure there are legitimate business reasons for each of those, and passing no judgement pro/con on this proposal, but will he ever finish anything in the Township before starting something else?

Anonymous said...

Pave the entire Twp.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Amen, Lighthouse.

Anonymous said...

Lou Pektor was John Callahan's political sugar daddy. He had a blank check to do as he wanted in Bethlehem. Where did it all go wrong.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Lew is on the wall at St Luke's Anderson , He does care. Never met the man -BUT if he thinks he has a market for 55 and over development it would be in the present taxpayers interest to even give property tax INCENTIVES , because his market will not COSTS the existing rate payers as much as the median , and the School District then gets something but not the farm! This is if development is allowed at all.Very little police needed, require sprinklers and auto shut off/s on the stoves for the walk a ways, have him build an emergency squad substation, and open public ground and everybody would benefit.