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Approved LERTA program could entice development in Bethel Twp.

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Artist's rendering of what the proposed warehouse and distribution center could look like.
Artist's rendering of what the proposed warehouse and distribution center could look like. - (Photo / )

The Bethel Township Board of Supervisors has approved a tax-abatement program that could help lure a tenant to a proposed 1.1-million-square-foot warehouse and distribution center.

Thursday night, Bethel Township became the final necessary government body to approve a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Abatement program incentive plan for the proposed Lebanon Valley Distribution Center on Route 22 in Lebanon County.

No tenant has been signed to occupy the proposed building. Joseph Achenbach, of West Conshohocken’s Trammell Crow, the company handling the property’s development, said Monday he could not discuss any potential tenant.

Bethel Township supervisors Chairwoman Beverly Martel said the company has given no definitive indication of who a possible tenant might be. The 130-acre site is along the north side of Route 22 along Fredericksburg Road.

The LERTA allows the tenant to pay taxes on the improved property on a sliding scale over a 10-year period. The property owner would pay no tax on the improvements the first year, 10 percent the second year and so on until it pays the full tax bill in 10 years.

All three local taxing bodies need to approve the abatement — the township, Lebanon County and the Northern Lebanon School District. The township had been the final holdout after the county approved the program in September and the district approved it in October, according to meeting minutes.

Achenbach said owner U.S. Realty officially bought the land in late October. The company formerly had an agreement to purchase the land while it began the development process. Achenbach would not disclose the purchase price.

Originally, he said he hoped to have word on a possible tenant by the end of October, but there has been no confirmation yet.

“We’re hoping to hear as soon as possible,” Achenbach said.

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