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Luxury apartments, single-family homes could be next for Lehigh Hills

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(Google maps) Site of Lehigh Hills in Upper Macungie Township. The residential portion of the project would go up behind the retail portion already built, across from Nursery Street.
(Google maps) Site of Lehigh Hills in Upper Macungie Township. The residential portion of the project would go up behind the retail portion already built, across from Nursery Street.

With retail space sprouting up along a massive tract of mixed-use space along Route 100 in the Fogelsville section of Upper Macungie Township over the past few years, the accompanying residential portion has been lagging.

However, that could be about to change.

Developer and landowner David Jaindl said construction should start this fall on 230-single family homes, the residential portion of Lehigh Hills, which would go up on land behind the retail portion of the project.

The project is a walkable community of townhouses, single-family homes, apartments, retail pads, restaurant sites and other amenities on 300 acres.

Jaindl Land Co. of Orefield started planning for the project in 2010, which kicked off with development of the Weis supermarket, which opened in 2012 along Route 100. Other buildings, including a medical center for Lehigh Valley Health Network, have since gone up.

Aside from the 230 single-family homes, the project includes 273 apartment units and 25 townhouses. Jaindl said construction of the 25 townhouses would start later.

Meanwhile, KRE Group of Bridgewater, N.J., is developing the apartment portion of the project.

Jeremy Kaplan, COO of KRE Group, said his company is working on the 273 apartment units that would span seven buildings and include a fitness center, clubhouse, business center and pool.

“We hopefully will be starting construction in the next 12 months,” Kaplan said. “There are a number of variables outside our control. My understanding is there are some improvements that need to be done.”

The apartments will be a mix of one and two-bedroom units, with sizes ranging from 800 to 900 square feet for one-bedroom units and 1,200 to 1,250 square feet for two-bedroom units.

He declined to disclose the estimated construction cost and said the company has not determined monthly rents.

KRE Group performs its own construction but plans to hire an architect for this project, he said.

KRE Group’s two most recent projects in the valley are Spring View Apartments in South Whitehall Township and Madison Farms in Bethlehem Township.

“Those would be good representations of what we want to build in terms of the quality of the buildings,” Kaplan said. “From a business standpoint we continue to have good success. We find the valley to be a really good place to own and operate luxury apartment projects.”

The apartment community would be built behind Weis supermarket.

Jaindl said there are some additional retail pad sites along Route 100 for development.

Overall, Jaindl said the Lehigh Hills makes for a significant project for the company, noting that the school district, location and municipality make it a good investment.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh.

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