State transportation grant awarded to support large mixed-use development in East Pennsboro
A $900,000 state transportation grant was awarded last week to support infrastructure improvements near a new mixed-use development that could get started next year in East Pennsboro Township.
Preliminary land development plans from 199 Associates LP, the owner of the tract off East Penn Drive, have been approved for a project comprised of more than 400 residential units, along with professional and medical offices and retail spaces.
The entire tract is more than 110 acres. It is adjacent to Highmark's offices.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority grant, which is being issued through the Multimodal Transportation Fund, is needed to improve foot traffic safety along the heavily traveled East Penn Drive. It will fund road improvements, which could get underway by spring or summer 2018, that will include a pedestrian bridge over East Penn Drive to connect the two sides of the sprawling Adams-Ricci Park with the new development. The park is about 125 acres.
Pedestrian and bicycle paths will be installed to connect existing areas. New traffic signals and turn lanes also are included in the infrastructure work.
Local and state officials, along with business leaders from the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. and West Shore Chamber of Commerce, gathered at the park on Tuesday to highlight the future improvements.
The multimodal grant process is very competitive, said state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland), who was joined by Sen. Mike Regan (R-York). Regan said it's great when the public and private sectors can come together on projects like this.
Not only will this project improve walkability and recreational accessibility in that area of East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County's second-largest municipality, it also will help address housing needs in the county, Rothman said.
Cumberland County has been the fastest-growing county in the commonwealth this decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
County Commissioner Vince DiFilippo also sees increased business opportunities in that part of the county because of the traffic improvements. At least 200 construction jobs will be created by the development, which will lead to permanent jobs at the businesses that choose to locate there in the future.
John Murphy, part of the project team for 199 Associates, said the development will be built in phases, likely three or four. He estimated that the improvements will cost about $5 million.
Final land development approvals for the site are expected by the spring, according to the township.