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Heavy development underway at I-78/81 in Lebanon County

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Almost 2 million square feet of warehouse space is going up in a new business park in Lebanon County after Dermody Properties broke ground Wednesday for its LogistiCenter at 78-81.

The planned 405,000-square-foot facility at interstates 78 and 81 in Union Township — hence the name — is a speculative build by Reno, Nev.-based Dermody Properties. The project’s contractor is R.S. Mowery and Sons Inc. of Silver Spring Township.

Gene Preston, Dermody’s eastern region partner, said he is optimistic about the chances of getting a “world-class tenant” to occupy the building by the time it’s complete.

He said construction on the facility could finish as soon as the end of March 2016. Preston said Dermody does not reveal the construction costs for its projects.

If the possibility arises, the building would have room for two tenants, he said.

He also said the building is being marketed to lease to a tenant or tenants.

While development already had occurred over the last decade on the north side of Fisher Road, it had been slow to the south side on Old Forge Road, behind the Love’s truck stop. Preston said the infrastructure — such as power and utilities — hadn’t been built far enough back to develop anything.

Preston credited the previous developer of the land — Plymouth Meeting-based Vision Group Ventures — for building out the infrastructure and allowing new developers to build on the site.

National development firm Clarion Partners is also developing the Gateway Logistics Park on a property adjacent to Dermody’s property. Construction already is underway on a 1-million-square-foot warehouse and a 500,000-square-foot warehouse on its property.

Both of the parcels are designated as Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) properties, a program that allows for tax abatements to improvements on a property over a set period of time.

In the case of the Union Township properties, each has decreasing property tax exemptions for 10 years.

They are the first LERTA properties in Union Township, according to township officials.

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