The Falls Supervisors moved a step closer to securing 500 new jobs at a currently vacant riverfront parcel.
The board voted 4-0 to grant preliminary land development approval to LPC, Morrisville LP to construct a 973,200-square-foot warehouse on a 96-acre parcel situated at 2300 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Chairman Jeff Dence was absent.
LPC will need to return for final land development approval. Supervisor Erin Mullen made the motion to grant preliminary approval only – instead of the developer’s request for preliminary and final land development – in an effort to ensure the project receives a thorough review. Mullen, as well as other board members raised concerns over the developer’s waiver request to disturb the floodplain.
“How are we going to make sure you guys don’t flood?” Mullen asked.
LPC representatives noted that the company will file for a floodplain permit and will also request that FEMA adjust the floodplain boundary, which would move the property out of the floodplain.
While there is no guarantee that FEMA would oblige, township engineer Joseph Jones said his firm has been working cooperatively with LPC, adding that he is confident that FEMA would shift the floodplain boundary.
The developer does not yet have a tenant for the property but envisions the potential for 500 new jobs once the warehouse is built.
Supervisor Brian Galloway said the redevelopment would bring new life to a brownfield.
“It’s a difficult area,” Galloway said. “This looks like a good use for the property.”
The company’s sketch plan, which the board reviewed in 2020, shows the bulk of the property at the former Solvay tract. Two other parcels are comprised of land on South Pennsylvania Avenue and a portion of the former Rogers foam tract on East Post Road.
In anticipating the land development plan, the Falls Supervisors amended zoning to permit warehouses in the riverfront district.
Officials said previously that the warehouse, once complete, would generate $963,000 in real estate taxes to Pennsbury School District, $41,000 in municipal taxes and $33,000 in annual local services taxes.
Developers are planning to widen South Pennsylvania Avenue to help accommodate traffic. In addition, the warehouse would have separate truck and passenger vehicle access. The truck route would be Route 13 to Tyburn Road to South Pennsylvania Avenue. Trucks exiting the site would be directed to turn left and head south along South Pennsylvania Avenue. Passenger vehicles would be able to access the site from both the South Pennsylvania Avenue and East Post Road driveways.
In making public safety a top priority, the Supervisors inquired about contamination on the property Monday night.
Eric Moser, Logistics Property Company vice president, development management, told the board that there is an environmental covenant on a portion of the site. The contaminated area is capped and is “not intended to be disturbed.”
The area is fenced off and will continue to be. The contaminated site is adjacent to sensitive areas not intended for development, Moser said.
Victor Grande, the project’s civil engineer, said the contaminated area has been remediated. It was capped off for infiltration purposes, he added.