Catasauqua Press

Monday, August 21, 2017
Vacant land at the corner of Airport Road and American Parkway, zoned for retail use, was discussed at the Hanover Township Council meeting Feb. 15.PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMIL Vacant land at the corner of Airport Road and American Parkway, zoned for retail use, was discussed at the Hanover Township Council meeting Feb. 15.PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL CMIL

Hanover council rejects developer’s plan

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Paul Cmil Special to The Press in Local News

Lisa Pereira represented Good Mac Airport Associates LP before the Hanover Township Council at its meeting Feb. 15. Good Mac Airport Associates LP is a partnership formed by Bruce Goodman. He owns a significant parcel of land on the corner of Airport Road and American Parkway, across from Coca-Cola Park.

Goodman was the driving force for Airport Center and worked closely with the township to get the very successful project completed. His latest property spans the border between Allentown and Hanover Township.

Goodman had proposed a big box store at the location about three years ago, but council rejected the idea. The partnership had at that time toyed with the idea of a small strip center with medium-sized stores, boutique shops and restaurants intertwined in the mix.

“We have pretty good retail contacts, but we could not find anyone to commit as an anchor to the location,” said Adam Goodman, a spokesman for the group. “We have a waiting list for any vacancies that show up at Airport Center, but even though this property is only a block away, there was no interest. This is not what we expected.”

What the partnership now proposes is a mixed-use development with a small shopping center and 192 apartment units in eight separate buildings. Altman Companies would be a partner and develop the residential component of the project.

Altman Companies manage 14,000 apartment units across various states and are a proven performer. In Hanover, their most notable project is the Allendale Apartments, which they have managed for decades.

Council was not impressed with the change in direction.

“For us, retail is the lifeblood of the township,” Chairman Bruce Paulus said. “All the retail in this project is in Allentown. We believe there is potential for retail on the Hanover portion of the property.”

Goodman countered with his argument.

“We talked to tenants on the proposed configuration, and they all want the visibility they get along American Parkway,” he said. “These mixed-use facilities are a growing segment of the market.”

“We don’t have a problem converting residential zoned property to retail, but we are not going to convert something zoned retail to residential,” said Councilman Bob Heimbecker, confirming Paulus’ comments.

Goodman did bring up the option to have a big box store at the location.

“We would consider it a better option than what you proposed,” Paulus said. “Bring us an idea of who is interested in the location.”

Goodman did not consider the latest plan as dead.

“At our next meeting, we can bring some figures to show you the financial advantages of our proposal,” he said.