A commercial real estate company is proposing to build two 1 million square-foot warehouses – each the size of the Nestle distribution center – to the east of Air Products and Chemicals between Hamilton Boulevard and the Route 222 Bypass.
Liberty Property Trust, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate companies with an office in Bethlehem, wants to combine eight tracts of land, including some owned by Air Products, into three separate lots totaling 436 acres. Liberty Properties will own 200 acres of that which it would develop for the two warehouses, according to Liberty. Air Products will keep 236 acres, which includes their existing campus.
The land, behind Aldi food market at Hamilton and Mill Creek, spans Lower Macungie and Upper Macungie and abuts Cetronia Road.
Bill Bumber, Liberty senior project manager, told the Upper Macungie Township Planning Commission Wednesday night that the company has no tenants lined up for the warehouses. The land is zoned light industrial.
“Air Products realizes how sensitive a project like this would be to the community,” Bumber said.
Upper Macungie planners had doubts about the project.
“I think the biggest concern is going to be traffic impact on that stretch of road,” said Planning Commission Chairman David Etowski. “In my experience there is significant traffic problems today.”
Etowski asked if each warehouse that size might generate 500 trucks a day.
Bumber said that estimate sounded high. Liberty’s engineer, Kevin P. Markell, head of civil engineering for Barry Isett & Associates, said the firm would be doing a traffic study outside similar size warehouses to see how much traffic they generate.
Liberty is proposing to build a private road off of Mill Creek Road which would probably require a traffic signal, Bumber said.
Martin Velazquez, a former Allentown City Councilman, said he was concerned about how the development might affect his church, Trinity Wesleyan Church at 6735 Cetronia Road.
Planning Commission member Paul McNemar told Velazquez that there will several occasions where neighbors of the property can make their concerns known.
“This is the first of many, many hearings they will be here for,” McNemar said.