Construction has begun on a Bethlehem Township development near Route 33 that would add more than 800 residential units and 130,000 square feet of retail space to the area.
Aside from the retail component, the Madison Farms plan calls for 57 single-family houses, 210 townhouses and 570 apartments.
The project has been in planning for several years, and KRE Group of Bridgewater, N.J., has begun preliminary site work for the Madison Farms project, said Jeff Persky, executive vice president for KRE Group.
The state Department of Transportation recently issued several highway occupancy permits to allow construction to begin on the Madison Farms site and let KRE obtain access to the property, said Ron Young, PennDOT spokesman.
For the first part of the project, work is underway to build a ShopRite supermarket, with occupancy no later than the first quarter of 2015, followed by the apartments, which could be built, rented and ready for occupancy by the second quarter of 2015, Persky said. The company plans to build the townhouses and single-family homes during the second part of the project.
The ShopRite will be 67,000 square feet, and construction costs for the first part of the retail component are about $50 million, Persky said.
"Some ancillary stores we will be announcing shortly," Persky said. Restaurants will be added, Persky said.
The site is on a tract of farmland not far from the new St. Luke's Anderson Campus on Freemansburg Avenue near Route 33.
"We feel it's a very prime spot," Persky said. "I think the confluence of Route 33, Freemansburg Avenue, the existing shopping centers and St. Luke's makes us an ideal, mixed-use commercial spot."
This is the company's third similar project in Pennsylvania, Persky said. KRE also built Liberty Park, a luxury apartment project in Allentown, and Parkland View, a garden apartment project in Upper Macungie Township.