A developer has proposed building a 450-unit luxury apartment and retail complex on fields at Cetronia and Schantz roads in South Whitehall and Upper Macungie townships.
KRE, of Bridgewater, N.J., presented a preliminary sketch plan Wednesday to the South Whitehall Board of Commissioners that includes a gated, four-story apartment complex of one- and two-bedroom apartments that would rent for $1,300 to $1,600.
The design includes a clubhouse, private road, 30,000- to 40,000-square-feet of retail space that could house a high-end grocery story, such as Whole Foods, and two retail stores or restaurants, according to Tom Gough, director of development at KRE.
Since the apartment buildings would have elevators, Gough told the board, they would be suitable for an elderly population.
"We looked at the demographics in the area and [what] doesn't seem to be served is rental living for the elderly. Most of the apartments we've seen are all walk-ups," he said.
Gough said after the meeting the apartments would not be designed exclusively for an older population, characterizing them instead as luxury apartments for young professionals and others.
Gough told the board he did not anticipate many school-aged children in the complex because it only has one- and two-bedroom apartments.
"We don't see any negative impact to the school system, creating overcrowding or creating a real need for expansion to the school system," he said.
The complex would be designed for walkability to the retail center and the nearby medical centers at OAA Orthopaedic Specialists on Cetronia Road and the St. Luke's Hospital Health Network center under construction in the former Expo building.
Gough noted KRE's Madison Farm apartment project underway in Bethlehem Township is across from St. Luke's Riverside campus, which has contributed millions of dollars to improve nearby roads over the next five years.
KRE recently completed Parkland View apartments across from Jaindl Elementary School in Upper Macungie.
The latest project would be built on the Bortz tract, which KRE bought from developer David Jaindl.