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1.2-million-square-foot warehouse planned for land behind Saturday's Market

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/10/19

A 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse is being planned behind Saturday’s Market along Route 230 in Londonderry Township.

Core5 Industrial Partners submitted land development plans for the …

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1.2-million-square-foot warehouse planned for land behind Saturday's Market

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A developer plans to build a 1.2 million-square-foot warehouse behind Saturday’s Market on Route 230 in Londonderry Township.

Core5 Industrial Partners submitted land development plans for the 196-acre tract behind Saturday’s Market on Oct. 4 that call for a 1,217,520-square-foot warehouse.

Core5 will not occupy the warehouse, said attorney Charles Courtney, who is representing Core5.

“This building will be leased to a tenant. A tenant has not yet been identified. This building is anticipated to be used for distribution purposes. The building likely will be the first building to be constructed,” he told the Press & Journal.

The plans will go before the Londonderry Township Planning Commission on Monday. Township manager Steve Letavic said he didn’t think the planning commission would take action on it because it was the first time members were seeing it.

Letavic said Core5 also has Saturday’s Market under contract.

A letter sent to Saturday’s Market vendors, which was shared to Facebook, said that the market was closing permanently effective Dec. 2. Leases would be terminated by the end of Dec. 1, and all property had to be vacated prior to then. Saturday’s Market did not return calls requesting comment.

The land development plans submitted to the township are just for the land behind the market, not the market itself.

Saturday’s Market will be redeveloped into what Courtney called “a smaller distribution center.” He said plans for Saturday’s Market likely would not be submitted until next year.

“The two projects will be separate with the buildings on separate lots, although it is possible that the projects could share an access drive. That will be determined when plans for the Saturday’s Market site are reviewed,” Courtney said.

Land development plans explained

In early September, the Londonderry Board of Supervisors unanimously approved two zoning map amendments. One of the amendments expanded the C-2 commercial district within the township. The district now encompasses the 196-acre tract behind Saturday’s Market. The changes also added conditional uses within the C-2 zone including logistic facilities such as warehouses and distribution facilities; mini-warehouses and storage unit facilities; and business parks.

Two developers — Core5 and Vision Group Ventures — want to develop logistic centers on three tracts in the township — a tract behind Ed’s Landscaping in the southeast part of the township along Route 230, and in the former Lytle Farms and School Heights Village housing developments.

Core5 submitted a conditional use application Oct. 1, and a couple of days later, the company submitted a land development and subdivision plan.

The site was once slated for a housing development called School Heights Village and is owned by Farmers and Merchants Trust Co. of Chambersburg. This 196-acre site is to the south of Beagle Road, behind Londonderry Elementary School, and to the north of Saturday’s Market, though the plan calls for the warehouse to be accessed off Route 230.

The warehouse would be 1.2 million square feet with 349 parking spaces for tractor trailers and another 702 parking spaces. The building is proposed to be 55 feet tall.

To put a 1,217,520-square-foot warehouse into context, that would be 21.1 football fields or 6.3 Middletown Area High Schools (Lower Swatara Township staff said the school is 192,500 square feet).

Core5 is proposing access drives around the perimeter of the warehouse, along with a gravel emergency access off Beagle Road. An 8-foot high fence will border part of the warehouse.

Core5 plans to keep the trees in the southern part of the site, including along Route 230 and behind Saturday’s Market, and along Beagle Road. Additionally, Core5 plans to have a 30-foot buffer yard between its land and nearby residential districts.

The site is made up of three parcels, and the plan proposes consolidating them all into one.

Lytle Farms

Core5 is also interested in developing the northern portion of the former Lytle Farms development, just east of the Swatara Creek on the western edge of the township.

The company submitted subdivision plans for the Lytle land to subdivide 54.97 acres north of Route 230 from 217.11 acres to the south of Route 230.

This subdivision plan also will come before the planning commission Monday. Letavic said he didn’t know when land development plans would be submitted for the Lytle Farms tract.

Courtney said the land development plans for the Lytle property wouldn’t be submitted until next year. In the past, township officials have said Core5 plans to build a logistic facility on this site, and Courtney said this building would also be leased to a third party.

In September, township officials said a third developer was interested in turning the southern part of the site into a traditional neighborhood development, which is what prior plans had called for, but that development hinged on the other land being developed.

Both Core5 and Vision Group Ventures, which plans to develop land behind Ed’s Landscaping, have offered $15 million to help install public sewer lines that would run along Route 230.

“The projects likely will be built in phases; however, the significant water and sewer infrastructure will have to be built up front,” Courtney said. That cost, he said, is expected to exceed $15 million.

“This infrastructure is essential for both fostering economic development along this corridor and solving sewer problems that have plagued the township for a long time. The projects being proposed are critical for paying for this infrastructure,” Courtney said.

Under the 1966 Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, known as Act 537, municipalities such as Londonderry are required to develop a sewage facilities plan.

Londonderry’s plan said there were malfunctioning on-lot disposal systems in the township, particularly in the Londonderry Estates housing development and Sewer District No. 3. It called for public sewer to be installed in the development and in Sewer Districts No. 2 and 3.

Londonderry Estates’ public sewer is to be operational by 2021, and a public sewer system running along the entire Route 230 by 2026.

The price tag of bringing public sewer to the township is estimated at $27.5 million, including $26 million for the Route 230 sewer alone.

Letavic said the township is working on a sewer agreement between Londonderry and Derry Township Municipal Authority, which will treat the township’s sewage. He anticipated that it would take about two years before construction started on both the public sewer and water lines.