Plan to bring Costco, Whole Foods to Lower Macungie to be discussed tonight

By - Last modified: February 11, 2014 at 10:22 AM

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Tonight, Lehigh County executive Tom Muller will hold a public meeting to discuss the proposed Hamilton Crossings Shopping Center that could bring a Costco, Whole Foods Market and Target to Lower Macungie Township. The original meeting was postponed because of inclement weather.

The meeting is at 6 tonight at Muhlenberg College, Moyer Hall, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. Parking is available in the faculty lot at 23rd and Chew streets.

Muller worked with Goldenberg Group, the Blue Bell developers, arranging for it to present the company's plans for the retail center and allow the public an opportunity to give input and ask questions.

The proposed site of the shopping center is off Krocks Road between Route 222 and Hamilton Boulevard.

Goldenberg Group has been battling with Lehigh County board of commissioners since last summer to obtain a tax increment financing plan to help fund the $140 million Hamilton Crossings complex in Lower Macungie.

"We have provided additional information and answered questions for the commissioners," said Jeremy Fogel, executive vice president of Goldenberg Group. "We need the TIF to make the project work."

The tax increment financing plan would allow Goldenberg to divert a portion of the new tax revenue on its property over the next 20 years to help with construction costs of the project, with the remainder of the new tax revenue going to Lehigh County, Lower Macungie Township and East Penn School District.

Lehigh County commissioners opted out of the TIF plan last summer, but according to Fogel, East Penn School district has opted in and he is optimistic that Lower Macungie Township will as well.

"The Lehigh County executive and the administration support this project whole-heartedly," said Frank Kane, director of community and economic development for Lehigh County. "We are just waiting on the approval of the board of [county] commissioners."

According to Fogel, if Lehigh County commissioners and Lower Macungie opt in on the TIF plan, construction on the project could begin by summer.

"This would be a great project to bring jobs and bring a Costco, which people want," Kane said.

Jennifer Glose

Jennifer Glose

Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferg_LVB and read her blog, “Networking,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/networking-blog.

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