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Lower Macungie Commissioners review TIF proposal

Published On: Sep 20 2012 11:01:44 PM CDT
LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. -

The Lower Macungie Board of Commissioners discussed a Tax Increment Financing plan to assist in the Hamilton Crossings Development at their meeting on Thursday evening.

Representatives from the Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority showed the Board a presentation explaining what a Tax Increment Financing plan is, how it benefits the community, and how this plan will help finance the Hamilton Crossings Development.

According to Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority representatives, this TIF plan in compliant with the Tax Increment Financing Act of 1990. Currently 49 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have such legislation in use.

LCIDA is executing Stage One of this TIF plan by presenting the plan to the Board of Commissioners. LCIDA is working with The Goldenberg Group on this project and representatives from this group were present at the meeting ready to also present to the Board.

Representatives from The Goldenberg Group showed the Board several construction projects around the Lehigh Valley that they have been involved with.

Each project was partly financed by a TIF plan. The projects shown at the meeting included the Metroplex in Plymouth Meeting, Exeter Commons in Exeter Township, and Tilden Ridge in Tilden Township next door to the well known retail establishment Cabela’s. According to the Goldenberg Group representative, Cabela’s was partly financed by a TIF plan. However, The Goldenberg Group was not involved with the project.

The Hamilton Crossings project that The Goldenberg Group wants to finance with the proposed TIF plan is located at the Route 222 Bypass and Krocks Road. It is a 63-acre parcel that will be used for commercial development. According to The Goldenberg Group, this development will be anchored by a Target store as well as the first Costco in the Lehigh Valley.

The Goldenberg Group is currently working with the Lower Macungie Township Zoning Board, the Fifth District of PennDOT, as well as the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. The Goldenberg Group is working with NPDES to develop a solid stormwater system because flooding has become a major concern of the Township in the area surrounding the project.

One of the main reasons for the construction of this project is to facilitate economic development. There will be 570,000 square feet of commercial development constructed in the parcel creating over 400 construction jobs, and once the project is finished, will created over 1,000 permanent jobs. If all proposed plans are approved, The Goldenberg Group predicts all store openings to occur in the fall of 2014.

According to The Goldenberg Group and LCIDA, the extraordinary costs associated with this project exceed $18 million, which the proposed TIF plan will partially cover.

LCIDA requested approval from the Board to move forward with the proposed TIF plan as well as asked for representatives from the Board to sit on the TIF committee.

The Board approved LCIDA’s request and appointed Commissioner James F. Lancsek and Township Manager Bruce E. Fosselman to serve on the TIF committee.

LCIDA is moving onto the next step of the approval process which is requesting approval from the surrounding School District and from the County. If LCIDA gets approval from both, they will then present the TIF plan to the taxing bodies of the township for further approval.