Lehigh Valley

Commissioner says sale of Lower Mac. property was far from fair

LOWER MACUNGIE TWP., Pa. - PennDOT has listed South Cedar Crest, or Route 29, as a congested corridor. It's a big reason why the township has wanted to limit development.

For years the township has been eyeing the Farr property but believed it was too expensive.

However, it just sold for half the price to a big donor to the hospital and the township says it didn't even get a chance to bid.

“This one is a kick in the gut to lose,” Lower Macungie Commissioner Ron Beitler said. 

Beitler is talking about the 54-acre Farr Tract just off South Cedar Crest Boulevard, a piece of land the township and Wildlands Conservancy had been trying to buy and preserve for years.

However, just this month Lehigh Valley Health Network and the trust of the Farr family sold it to developer David Jaindl for $1.75 million, half of the advertised price of $3.5 million.

Beitler said despite their interests the township was never told and never had a chance to bid,

“We thought it was a really logical partnership to work with the township to preserve this instead of selling it to a developer,” he stated.

Lehigh Valley Health Network said it was a joint decision with the trust and all offers were considered. The sale was in the best interest of the trust.

But Beitler said they were never given a chance. Lower Macungie has been playing catchup in the preservation game. The Farr spot was at the top of their preservation list.

"Had we had the opportunity to match that offer, it's likely we would have been able to match that,” Beitler said. 

David Jaindl did tell 69 News he’s considering a number of different options, which includes his residential homes. When 69 News asked about preserving the land, he would not say.

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