When a hearing continues tonight in Fairview Township, York County, residents are expected to show up in large numbers to comment on a proposal by Goodman Birtcher North America Management to build a 1-million-square-foot warehouse near the Lewisberry Road exit of Interstate 83. While opposition focuses on traffic and quality of life issues, the company says it plans to reduce impacts and make a long-term community commitment.
“We’re long-term owners of our real estate. We want to be part of these communities and listen to residents. We care about that stuff,” said Troy Briggs, Goodman Birtcher’s Northeast regional director.
That’s something that Fairview Township residents will get to see this evening when the company outlines more of its plans for the warehouse there, he said.
Part of the plan includes leaving a large wooded lot undeveloped as a natural barrier between the warehouse and nearby homes, he said.
“We’re not merchant-builders,” said Brandon Birtcher, Goodman Birtcher’s president and CEO.
The company doesn’t want to build the facility and flip it for a profit, he said. It intends to own the property and bring in companies on long-term leases that could add more than 400 jobs per facility.
Part of the company’s commitment to the communities it builds in is choosing sites that are as close as possible to highway exits, he said. That way, trucks aren’t spending time on secondary roads, creating added traffic and pollution.
The company will outline more of its plans for the Fairview Township site in the public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. in the Red Land High School auditorium at 560 Fishing Creek Road, Lewisberry. Goodman Birtcher is seeking a conditional use to build the warehouse on 82 acres zoned commercial business at the northwest corner of the Lewisberry Road/I-83 intersection.
Goodman Birtcher also proposed several warehouses on the west side of Carlisle at Allen Road and Ritner Highway (Route 11). The project will include two warehouses with 1 million square feet each and two warehouses with 400,000 square feet each on 175 acres. The site spans four municipalities: West Pennsboro, Dickinson and South Middleton townships and Carlisle.
Goodman Birtcher needs zoning changes in the municipalities to build the warehouses. The West Pennsboro planning commission will review plans Sept. 26. Dickinson’s planning commission could review plans at its Wednesday, Sept. 11, meeting. Carlisle has scheduled a public hearing for Oct. 10.
It’s unknown when the plan would next be reviewed in South Middleton.
For more on Goodman Birtcher’s proposals and the company’s growth strategy, read Friday’s Business Journal.
California-based Goodman Birtcher is the North American subsidiary of Australia-based real estate investment trust Goodman Group. The company has more than $2.3 billion worth of real estate development underway worldwide.