Panel OKs 59-acre mixed-use project in Susquehanna Twp.
A long-anticipated development project at the corner of Progress Avenue and Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Township is one step closer to construction.
The Susquehanna Township Planning Commission voted unanimously on Monday to approve the preliminary land development plan submitted by Vartan Group Inc. for a nearly 59-acre mixed-use project, dubbed Susquehanna Union Green.
The developer's traditional neighborhood development plan calls for a mix of single-family homes, a senior-living campus and a variety of commercial buildings, including retail shops, office space and restaurants as well as a 110-room hotel. A neighborhood grocery store also could be included.
With planning commission approval, the plan will now come before the township's board of commissioners. That could happen in March.
If the board signs off on the plan, a final land development plan for the project would follow and individual construction phases would then be approved separately.
CEO H. Ralph Vartan, who unveiled his vision for the development in 2014, said the initial phase of the five-phase project would involve on- and off-site infrastructure improvements that still need approval by the state Department of Transportation.
That work would include new traffic lanes to accommodate increased traffic flowing in and out of the development. It also would include work on utility infrastructure and stormwater management, and development of parks and community green spaces.
The best-case scenario, Vartan said, is to have approvals in place for the first phase to begin this fall.
"We would like to break ground this fall," he said.
The site work is expected to take about six to nine months.
The second phase, a commercial area, could run in tandem with the infrastructure work. The commercial part of the development calls for a Union Green town center that would rise in a 28-acre space at the front of the site.
More than two dozen commercial buildings would be spread along Progress Avenue and Linglestown Road, with a hotel planned for the center of the tract. Vartan has not announced tenants for the site, but he said that should come "shortly."
If construction on those buildings starts this year, some businesses could begin opening in the development by summer 2019 or by the end of 2019, Vartan said.
Retail and office buildings in phases two and three of the project will total about 300,000 square feet.
The two residential phases of Susquehanna Union Green are at the rear of the site. The senior housing and community center component would occupy five buildings and include more than 200 age-restricted units.
There also are 31 single-family homes included in the development plan.