Costco, Whole Foods Complex’s Tax Break Could Proceed Despite Lehigh County’s Rejection

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Lehigh County Commissioners rejected a tax incentive plan last summer for a $140 million Costco, Target and Whole Foods complex in Lower Macungie Township, it appeared the project was dead on arrival.

The developer and local government officials had long maintained that if the county, township and East Penn School Board did not each sign off on a tax increment financing plan, the project could not move forward.

But now, the entity proposing the TIF says it can be approved even if one or more of the taxing bodies opts out, and they intend to press forward with it despite the county’s rejection.

“The TIF can legally proceed without the participation of the county,” said John Lushis Jr., solicitor for the Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority. “If their understanding was otherwise, then that’s not correct.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2014/03/costco_whole_foods_complex_cou.html

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Developers Of Planned Lower Macungie Shopping Center ‘Trying To Bridge Financial Gap’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Developers of a proposed shopping center that would bring a Costco Warehouse and Target to Lower Macungie Township pitched their project to the East Penn School Board Monday night in anticipation of a future request for Tax Increment Financing.

Staten Island developer Timothy Harrison presented his vision for Hamilton Crossings – a $120 million, 580,000 square-foot shopping center proposed on 62 acres on both sides of Krocks Road between the Route 222 Bypass and Hamilton Boulevard. He told the school board he would be returning to ask the district to participate on a TIF committee.

Harrison and his partner Jeremy Fogel, executive director of The Goldenberg Group in Blue Bell, discussed financial hurdles involved with the site that are caused by geotechnical issues resulting from more than 70 years of use as an iron-ore mine. They told directors that much of the site consists of mine wash, a pancake batter-like substance that has to be removed and mixed with concrete or rock before it is returned to the ground. Harrison said the ground could not support buildings or a parking lot without remediation.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/eastpenn/mc-east-penn-lower-mac-tif-20120814,0,2514578.story