Bethlehem’s city planning commission on Thursday granted approvals for two warehouses in the city’s Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII off Route 412.
Commissioners recommended approving plans for a warehouse and distribution center at 1010 Harvard Ave and a warehouse and water bottle manufacturing facility at 2680 Commerce Center Boulevard. Neither plan received substantial revisions.
Here is a look at the projects:
1010 Harvard Ave.
The 53,700 warehouse at 1010 Harvard Ave. will be constructed on a 5.73-acre-lot adjacent to UGI Energy Services and will include eight loading docks, two ramps and 63 parking spaces. Two two-way driveways will allow vehicles to enter and exit from Harvard Avenue and Hellertown Road.
Andrew Bohl, project manager at Hanover Engineering Associates, representing the developer, Triple New Investments LX LLC, said trucks will only be allowed to make right-hand turns onto Harvard Avenue and Route 412, which was a concern raised by the city’s planning and zoning director, Darlene Heller.
Bohl said the developer met Monday with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to discuss plans to modify an existing driveway that opens to Route 412. He said several options are being considered in the plans, including widening the driveway’s mouth. The developer is waiting on further communication from PennDOT, he said.
The commission also asked for the developer to continue to keep LANTA updated on any plans that may interfere with a bus stop located along a portion of the lot facing Route 412.
The commission approved the plans unanimously under the condition that the developer follow all of PennDOT’s requirements and share plans with the city about a proposed retaining wall.
The commission pulled a motion at the last minute that would have required the developer to also include signs indicating “No Through Traffic” at the driveway entrances.
2680 Commerce Center Blvd.
Bohl represented Push Holding Inc., the developer of a 136,000-square-foot manufacturing site and warehouse at 2680 Commerce Center Blvd. Bohl said the client was water bottle manufacturer and packaging company, Axium.
Eight loading docks, 98 parking spaces for passenger vehicles, two driveways along Commerce Center Boulevard, a loading door and use of the existing railway are proposed for the site. The manufacturer plans to use the direct rail access to transport bulk materials like plastic pellets from the Lehigh Valley Rail yard to the proposed site, he said:
“(The rail line) was one of the things that drew our client to the property because they have property they’re leasing in LVIP VII and they actually have to truck bulk materials from the Lehigh Valley Rail yard over to their facility. This will alleviate some congestion for the city as well.”
The developer’s plans included minor adjustments to the rail line.
The property at 2680 Commerce Center is one of the last remaining vacant lots within Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII.
Both projects are awaiting further approval from the local conservation districts for permit amendments, Bohl said.
Second Avenue Vacation
In other business, the planning commission approved vacating 89 feet of Second Avenue. George Mowers and Charlene Donchez Mowers said vacating the land will save the city the expense of maintaining the property. The lot is a remnant from the Peron Armory project.
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