Planners said the time has come to approve a development plan for the long-debated Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lehigh County.
The Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission made a recommendation to the township's board of commissioners Tuesday night to approve the land development plan for the proposed $140 million shopping center, which would include Costco, Target and Whole Foods stores as its anchors, on 63 acres between Hamilton Boulevard and Route 222.
The board is expected to decide in June whether to participate in the tax increment financing (TIF) program, which would allow 50 percent of increased tax revenue from the shopping center to be diverted to pay for public infrastructure improvements for 20 years.
The board would also need to vote on whether to approve the land development plan.
In addition to the board of commissioners, Lower Macungie Planning Director Sara Pandl said approvals will also be needed from PennDOT, the Lehigh County Conservation District and local utilities.
It was originally hoped that the township, the local school district and county government would all join the TIF.
The East Penn school board voted last spring to participate in the TIF, but the Lehigh County Commissioners have decided not to join.
In the past, the developers said they needed the township, school district and county to each participate in the TIF, but have since backed off this stance.