Development nears approval
Proposed $146M Sanatoga Green project makes headway; planning modules ready for inspection
After months of relative quiet while plans were made and reviewed, the $146 million Sanatoga Green development project is making headway again in the approval process.
A July 11 legal notice announced that the project’s sewer planning modules are ready for public inspection and approval by the state.
Plans before the Lower Pottsgrove Planning Commission call for phasing the development in three stages; the Montgomery County Conservation District is reviewing plans and one of the principals in the project said they are hoping to have shovels in the ground by September.
Located on a total of 57 acres, the project currently calls for the construction of 490 housing units comprised of 147 town homes starting at $275,000; 343 apartments in 17 buildings; a 50,000 square foot medical office building and a 108-room hotel.
The site is located off Evergreen Road, near the entrance to the Costco and Philadelphia Premium Outlets, both of which are in Limerick Township.
The project was first envisioned in 2014, when the township commissioners agreed to change the zoning to “gateway mixed use” at the suggestion of the developers, Castle Caldecott LLC.
It was about a year ago that the project won preliminary site plan approval from the township commissioners.
That approval was won only after the developers agreed to put up $375,000 in cash or a line of credit to ensure that after the first, townhouse phase of the project moves forward, that the second residential phase, the apartments, will not begin until building permits have been pulled for either of the two commercial elements of the plan.
Township Manager Ed Wagner said as of the latest planning commission meeting, that sequence of construction remains in place.
According to the legal notice, Sanatoga Green will generate 78,000 gallons of wastewater per day. It will be pumped to the Pottstown Wastewater Treatment Plant with the help of $500,000 worth of improvements to a township pump station, said Scott Haines, one of the partners in the
The state, concerned about the amount of stormwater and groundwater infiltrating Lower Pottsgrove’s sewer system, approved the additional flow after the township increased its efforts to stem that infiltration from $175,000 per year to $435,000, said Wagner.
In addition to sewer considerations, getting water to the site had also been an issue.
Last year, the Pottstown
Borough Authority informed the developers if could not provide enough water at a high enough pressure to meet the project’s fire protection needs for its sprinkler system.
The developers turned to the Pennsylvania American Water Company, which has a tank in Limerick that can supply the project. However, that change has been held up by delays at the Public Utilities Commission,
which must approve the new supplier.
Haines said he hopes that approval will be on next month’s PUC agenda for approval.
Before building permits can be pulled, however, the project must first receive a recommendation for final site plan approval from the planning commission, which must then be accepted and approved by the Township Board of Commissioners.
The project is also awaiting road access permits from PenDOT, said Haines
Among the concerns raised about the project is the increased traffic load that will burden Evergreen Road as well as the already strained Sanatoga interchange on Route 422.
A recent update provided to the Limerick Board of Supervisors last month indicated that a new on-ramp to westbound Route 422, which will eliminate a dangerous traffic-crossing left turn for those leaving the outlets — and Sanatoga Green — is well underway.
The total cost of the westbound ramp project is estimated at about $3 million and Limerick and Lower Pottsgrove townships have made contributions to cover the 30 percent local match required by the state grant.
The on-ramp project is projected to be completed in 2020.