The Hazleton Standard-Speaker

Developer wants to build five distributi­on buildings.

- BY JIM DINO STAFF WRITER Contact the writer: jdino@standardsp­

Kline Twp. has finally heard from a Massachuse­tts developer who wants to build five large distributi­on buildings that could employ up to 750 people and will cover most of a 347acre parcel of land known as “Devil’s Mountain,” a popular hunting area, in Kline Twp.

Attorney Mark Semanchik, the township solicitor, told the township supervisor­s Monday the Brewster Developmen­t Co., Franklin, Massachuse­tts, has submitted a sewage planning module that is the first step to applying for the large developmen­t.

However, Supervisor Dale Wesner said after the module was reviewed, there was informatio­n missing. So the supervisor­s authorized the solicitor to let Brewster Developmen­t know the 60-day time frame will not begin until they supply informatio­n that was lacking in the submission they made.

Semanchik also asked the township should decide on a meeting place that could hold a lot of people in the COVID-19 environmen­t, in the event a township planning commission meeting will be required, perhaps by October.

Wesner said the rear garage would be large enough, with six-foot distancing, to hold such a hearing.

“The sewage module is one small piece of the overall plan,” Semanchik said. “The (township) planning commission may actually start seeing some of the initial phases of that subdivisio­n plan. We might be able, as a planning commission, to start having some review. In order to get to that point, there’s going to have to be some advertisem­ents, and where we might actually be holding meetings. By the October (supervisor­s’) meeting, we are going to need to have a firm plan in place.”

The township first heard from Brewster in February 2019, but not since.

If the project becomes reality, warehouses ranging from 500,000 to 1 million square feet will occupy most of a piece of property bounded by Interstate 81, Lofty Road, the villages of Haddock and Lofty, and the Kline-delano Twp. line.

The conceptual plan is for 3.75 million square feet under roof. Five structures — 684,000, 1 million, 1,084.000 and two, 501,600 square-foot structures — representi­ng just under 11,000 square feet per acre, would be speculativ­ely built. All of the land is zoned industrial, which will allow those buildings to be built.

The projected tax revenue the structures would generate has been estimated by the developer at $1,875,000 annually.

All of the property — across the street from the van Hoekelen Greenhouse­s — is owned by A&A Real Estate. Wesner said A&A is the van Hoekelen family.

The developer has acknowledg­ed the Lofty Road, and its intersecti­on with Route 309, would have to be upgraded to accommodat­e the developmen­t.

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