Lehigh Valley

LVPC recommends transportation upgrades at former Kraft plant

Developer proposing 1.46M-square-foot warehouse

HANOVER TWP., Pa. - The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission is recommending the developer behind plans for the former Kraft Foods plant in Lehigh County make transportation improvements to sprawling site.

The board on Wednesday approved  recommendations from one of its community planners on the proposed reuse of the former Kraft plant off Industrial Boulevard in Upper Macungie Township.

The proposed Park 100 Logistics Center, unveiled last week at the township's planning meeting by Atlanta-based Ridgeline Property Group, calls for two side-by-side 730,000 square warehouses on the 92-acre complex. The facility would contain parking lots consisting of almost 1,000 parking spaces and 377 parking spaces for tractor trailers.

LVPC community planner John von Kerczek said although the proposal was mostly in line with Lehigh County's comprehensive plan, he recommended township planners consider several "multimodal congestion relief improvements." These include sidewalks surrounding the perimeter of the sizeable project and employee bicycle racks.

Von Kerczek also recommends an interior walkway network conveniently leading to three bus stops at the property and between the parking lots and the western sides of the warehouses themselves.

In the event Upper Macungie decides to grant the developer a sidewalk deferral, the LVPC's comprehensive planning committee recommended the township require the necessary grading in preparation for future installation and keep the area free from any obstacles precluding future sidewalk installation. The committee said this ensures pedestrians and transit riders at bus stops have safe waiting areas in the event no sidewalks are ever installed.

The LVPC also recommended truck staging on Industrial Boulevard be expressly prohibited. Upper Macungie should ensure trucks are able to access the site on a 24-7 basis, and each distribution center should have on-site truck parking for staging and overnight stays.

The township should also ensure that sufficient amenities such as food, showers and rest and waiting areas should be provided for truck drivers, according to the LVPC.

In addition to anytime gate access, the township should require that any guarded entry stations be located far enough away from the property line to ensure minimal truck spillover onto Industrial Boulevard.

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