Parkland Press

Friday, October 18, 2019

Board OKs warehouse

Thursday, February 7, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

South Whitehall commissioners have granted conditional approval to Griffin Industrial Realty Inc. for construction of a 156,000-square-foot warehouse at 4741 Chapmans Road.

The unanimous vote was taken around 11 p.m. after a lengthy discussion during the Jan. 16 meeting.

The 13.8-acre property, owned by the estate of Fred J. Jaindl, is situated west and north of 84 Lumber and east of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The plan proposes a 120-car parking lot with a reserve area for an additional 46 cars.

On the west side of the 50-foot-high structure, 23 loading docks and 31 trailer parking spaces are planned, with an additional three trailer parking spaces on the south side.

Public water and sanitary sewer connections are proposed for the building.

Michael Gamzo, president and CEO of Griffin Industrial Realty, reported his company got started years ago in Connecticut with the tobacco business.

“We came to the Lehigh Valley 10 years ago and have 1.3 million square feet in six warehouses here,” Gamzo said. “We have not identified a tenant for this one.”

Kevin Horvath, of Keystone Consulting Engineers, said Griffin intends to reconstruct the wetlands on the site as part of the stormwater plan.

Commissioner David Bond raised the issue of queuing for the trailers doing business at the warehouse.

“I’m very concerned about their entrance and exiting,” Bond said. “Let’s focus on long-term safety.”

Keystone Consulting Engineers provided information on transportation improvements offered as part of the warehouse development.

All tractor-trailer entrances and exits would occur from the site to Chapmans Road and proceed to and from Route 309.

Griffin will coordinate with PennDOT, South Whitehall and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to clear trees and vegetation to obtain the 676-foot sight distance required for combination trucks.

Chapmans Road, along the frontage of the warehouse property, will be widened from the existing 11-foot half-width to the collector road cartway standard of 20-foot half-width.

The developer will confer with LANTA to see if bus service can be established for warehouse employees.

In a written communication, Molly Wood, planner and land use specialist with LANTA, reported a bus stop at the site would require an inconvenient deviation for the bus route along the Route 309 corridor, and the bus would need an efficient location to turn around at the site to return to Route 309