Dirt could start flying by March or April at the corner of Progress Avenue and Linglestown Road in Susquehanna Township.
But first Vartan Group Inc. must win township approval of its phase one construction plan for its ambitious project at the site: Susquehanna Union Green, a 59-acre mixed-use development that will blend residential and commercial buildings
The township planning commission will review the plan for the initial phase — which involves on- and off-site infrastructure improvements — at its Nov. 26 meeting. If the commission recommends approval, the first phase would need final approvals from the township board of commissioners before work could begin.
Vartan Group CEO H. Ralph Vartan said he is hoping to have approval this winter, so the infrastructure work can begin later in the first quarter of 2019.
The work would include putting in new traffic lanes to accommodate increased traffic in and out of the town-center-style development. It also would include work on utility infrastructure and stormwater management, and development of parks and green spaces.
Earlier this year, the township approved the master plan for Susquehanna Union Green, allowing the developer to move forward with the creation of final land development plans for each of the project’s five phases. Susquehanna Union Green will feature single-family homes and a senior-living campus, as well as retail shops, office space, restaurants and a 110-room hotel.
People might be tempted to compare Union Green to new centers in Lancaster County, such as the Shoppes at Belmont.
But, Vartan said, “I think it will be unique. Each one of these great developments has a unique flair. Union Green will be no different.”
Vartan said the site work for the project is expected to take about eight to 10 months. Once that work gets moving, Vartan said he hopes to have approvals in place for the second phase of the development, which will involve erecting buildings.
The goal, he said, is to have a few buildings completed by next holiday season.
“People should be excited by the green spaces and retail amenities,” Vartan said. “I think it’s going to be a great amenity to the township.”
Vartan is still finalizing tenant deals so no names have been announced. That said, he expects the mix will include both national retail brands and local and regional businesses.
More than two dozen commercial buildings will be spread along Progress Avenue and Linglestown Road. The hotel is planned for the center of the tract.
Retail and office buildings in phases two and three of the project will total about 300,000 square feet.
The two residential phases of the project will take up rear of the site. The senior housing and community center component will occupy five buildings and include about 240 senior apartments. There also are 31 single-family homes included in the development plan.
Harrisburg-based Reynolds Enterprises Inc. is the preconstruction consultant on the project. Other partners include Pittsburgh-based LaQuatra Bonci Associates and H.F. Lenz, an engineering firm based in Cambria County.