Tuesday, May 02, 2017

513,000 sq ft Warehouse Distribution Center Approved on Brodhead Rd


You can say what you want about developer Lew Ronca, and I often do. But his commitment to completely reconstruct about a third of Brodhead Road is going to save Bethlehem Township taxpayers $700,000. The Township will reconstruct the remaining two thirds of the 5,000' long road this Summer. Ronca, a businessman, made this commitment in connection with a 513,000 sq ft warehouse distribution center he plans to build along the south side of Brodhead Rd and north side of Route 22. It's a 37-acre tract that had been originally pitched as a Wal Mart Super Center. At their May 1 meeting, Commissioners unanimously approved a multi-tenant warehouse center after a presentation by prominent land use attorney Blake Marles.

This project includes 113 loading docks and parking for 222 cars and 141 trailers. It will be accessed exclusively by Brodhead Road. In its review, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission noted the proposal is in an area designated for urban development and is consistent with the county's comprehensive plan. It maintains a 150' buffer from Monocacy Creek, a high quality cold water trout stream that traverses the property. Because of its close proximity to Route 22, it is expected to have little negative impact on residential communities. But the truck traffic will access Route 22 at a high crash intersection.

Marles asked the township to waive a $135,000 recreation fee, but seemed top get nowhere on that one. He might persuade Commissioners to waive inspection fees for the road construction, since Ronca is doing work that the Township would otherwise be required to do.

Ronca upset a large number of Bethlehem residents when he stayed away from public meetings during the Martin Tower debate. But he was out in front of this project. Lew's son, a very pleasant young man, was with father last night and also when the plan was reviewed by the Planning Commission.

In other business, Commissioners unanimously authorized Manager Melissa Shafer to advertise for bid the stabilization and renovation project for the Archibald Johnston mansion. Estimates have placed the cost of that work at $700,000, but it would come from the Housenick Trust.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's the catch? Developers do not simply give away $700,000 for nothing in return so, what's the catch?

Bernie O'Hare said...

A 513,000 sq ft warehouse.

Anonymous said...

Is the 513k sq ft allowed or was a waiver needed to exceed zoning hence the $700k gift?

Anonymous said...

$1.37/sq. ft. added to the cost is a damned cheap payout, to be allowed adding to the congestion, accidents, and road repairs. How long before we rename this valley, Warehouse Valley?

Anonymous said...

The warehouse is inevitable, and the construction/improvement of Brodhead is commendable, but this is just going to add to an already over burdened, barely functioning, traffic choked section of Rte 191.

Scott

Anonymous said...

It makes me really sad to see all the farmland redeveloped into warehouses. 33 and 22 are starting to look like 78.

Anonymous said...

This "farmland" is immediately adjacent to, if not in, an industrial park.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 9:36. Low job, land gobbling warehouses will eventually choke the Valley. Trucks, congestion, smog, roads not designed for the heavy traffic. It all comes at a cost. It is time to start putting the brakes on all this warehouse mania. Everything has a cost and It may not be worth the cash.

Anonymous said...

Developers simply don't "throw in" $700,000.00 without something in return? What's behind the curtain?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Um, just how stupid are you?

Anonymous said...

i assume there are no plans to connect the warehouse property to the Norfolk Southern line to help alleviate some traffic

Hank_Hill

Anonymous said...

simple, supply and demand. you dont build 500sq ft warehouses unless there is someone willing to lease it. you dont fill the valley with industrial parks and line 22 and 78 with warehouses unless there tenants. these buildings are stacked to the ceilings with SUPPLY to fill the DEMAND ! And guess who is to blame for all this demand....THE PEOPLE ! dont whine about it because we are the reason they are there. our lust for stuff is what is driving this type of development. cant blame anyone but the consumers. suck it up.

Anonymous said...

And that site was once planned for a retail and restaurant development but was killed by the Township and PennDOT because of so called traffic ooncerns. Now the so called by right plan moves through with only a repaving of Brodhead Road. Lets see a place where people can meet, gather and socialize in a prime location or another big cold box.

Anonymous said...

Lehigh valley is a Paradise lost! Greedy people, shame on them! Too much development of the wrong kind! Stupid voters keep electing crooked politicians!

Anonymous said...

@5:46 - A retail/restaurant development there would be a much worse traffic problem versus warehouse/trucks based on how Brodhead/191/22 are currently aligned. Don't get me wrong, the additional trucks aren't going to help an already bad situation but given the choice of the two crappy options, this one has a lesser impact.

Can't really say that the area is really starved for retail either with the # of vacancies in the strip mall across the street from Home Depot/Walmart/Giant.

Scott