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LNAA not selling any of its airports; Rockefeller wants land

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 16 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2013 05:42:07 AM CDT

The Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority will not be selling any of its airports.

HANOVER TWP., Pa. -

Braden Airpark and the Queen City Airport are off the chopping block.

Instead, a New York developer says it wants to buy more than 750 acres of farm land from the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority. The authority has been looking to sell some property to fund capital improvements and pay the balance of a $28-million lawsuit. Now a buyer is unveiling its plans.

New York City based Rockefeller Group wants to buy nearly 753 acres of Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority land. It's mostly farmland around LVIA in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

"Having 800 acres of real estate, this considered surplus, is a good thing because we can attempt to dispose of that property and we can generate revenue by doing that," explained LNAA Executive Director Charles Everett

Redeveloping this land could potentially end turbulent financial problems for the airport. But officials aren't saying how much the deal could bring in. The balance of a $28-million judgment must be paid by the end of 2015.

"They wanted to bring in a real estate expert, a master developer, to come in and take a look at the real estate assets that the authority owned and determine how best to put together a plan in order that they would be able to market and sell those parcels," added Everett.

And the Rockefeller Group did just that. In a letter of intent dated April 15th the group marked six parcels it's interested in buying and developing including 534 acres of farmland in Allen and East Allen townships, and another 219 acres in Hanover Township.

"There will be revenue generated from the sale of those properties," shared Everett. "And from those proceeds we will hopefully be able to reduce and eliminate the cost related to the judgment."

It's still early in the process. The authority's board of directors will review the non-binding letter of intent on Tuesday. It could be months to years before the airport authority sees a return on the deal.