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South Whitehall commissioners give final OK for 90-acre warehouse complex

Black Creek Group can now begin courting potential tenants for their spec warehouse complex at Crackersport and Eck roads in South Whitehall Township.The township board of commissioners voted 4-0 to grant final approval Wednesday for the developer’s plan to build three warehouses totaling more than 900,000 square feet over roughly 90 acres in a zone where warehouses are permitted by conditional use.Construction will begin later this summer and take up to 12 months to complete, said Jim Murray, senior vice president of industrial development.Black Creek can now move ahead with construction of a 640,305 square foot warehouse at Crackersport Road, another totaling 125,000 square feet in the northwest corner, and a third one reaching 141,900 square feet in the northeast corner, along Eck Road.The area is divided by Norfolk Southern rail line, with a portion to the south located in Upper Macungie Township.The two warehouses north of the railroad line will include 60 loading docks between them, along with 289 parking spaces for passenger vehicles, 81 oversize spaces for trailers, and two driveway connections to Eck Road.The larger warehouse south of the railroad will feature 131 loading docks, 401 passenger vehicle parking spaces and 176 oversize spaces.They have also agreed to correct an existing “S” curve along Eck Road and widen it to 40 feet to conform to township standards.The board agreed with the recommendations of township planners last month to grant final plan approval, along with recommendations for a waiver from township requirements for curb height in order to conform to PennDOT standards, and deferrals from street tree and sidewalk requirements.Trees will be staggered depending on the location of existing utilities, and sidewalks will be deferred from the east side and provided along the remaining property frontage.Murray said they could not agree with a suggestion made at the May 16 meeting by planning commission member Robert Bielecki that an alternate truck route westbound from the site toward Blue Barn Road be provided to alleviate traffic congestion, along with staggering trucks in and out of the site to avoid back-ups during peak travel hours.“We don’t have tenants today, so we don’t know if we can stagger them,” he said.He also said they would adhere to the agreed-upon truck route eastbound to Route 309.The site is expected to generate 1,396 trips per day, with 132 during the a.m. peak hour and 151 during the p.m. peak, based on traffic studies submitted by Langan Engineering on behalf of the developer.Kevin Duffy is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.
Source: Morningcall

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