After more than a decade, The Home Depot is gearing up to finally be built in a shopping center in Lower Macungie Township.
The Township Board of Commissioners last week approved development of the 136,058 square foot building at Macungie Crossings Shopping Center, 5877 Hamilton Blvd. The property is east of Movie Tavern Trexlertown and the Air Products headquarters and west of the famous Hamilton Crossings shopping center.
The Lower Macungie site will join other regional Home Depot sites in Bethlehem Township, Palmer Township, Whitehall, the Allentown area and Greenwich Township in Warren County. According to the chain’s website, 500,000 employees currently work in 2,300 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Developer RB Grange Road Associates first received land development approval in 2007 from the Board of Commissioners for the building. Afterwards, the 20.8-acre parcel sat vacant for over a decade in the mall.
We don’t know precisely why. A representative for New York-based RD Management, the mall’s leasing agent, declined to provide more information Wednesday to lehighvalleylive.com, but said the company was open to sharing more details on a date. later.
Nathan Jones, the township’s community development manager, said the project gained further traction last February when representatives from RB Grange appeared before planners to change their previous approval. The developer requested reductions in required parking and the removal of a previously planned separate retail building.
RB Grange plans to begin construction for a summer 2023 opening, according to the RD Management website.
Over the past 15 years, Jones said site improvements have also been made to help alleviate parking concerns for area residents.
Township officials continue to work with businesses to optimize traffic flow on Hamilton Boulevard during the land development process for new projects. Ongoing improvements to traffic signal timing and signal timing along Hamilton Boulevard are also being made, Jones said.
An extensive garden center for the Home Depot project was also moved to the north side of the building to accommodate seasonal outdoor sales. Township officials also worked to customize the building’s architecture and components so that the store adheres to the community’s Hamilton Boulevard corridor plan and Lower Macungie Township design guidelines, Jones said.
New store additions will now include stacked stones; several facade materials; and an additional storefront-style sign face facing Hamilton Boulevard that will be visible from the street. Vehicles will be able to use electric charging stations in the parking area. There will also be new “dark sky compatible” lighting, i.e. fixtures that minimize glare while reducing light intrusion and sky glow, as well as LED parking lot lighting. installed. Council members encouraged RB Grange to install solar panels on the roof in the future.
The Home Depot project is part of a larger vision for Macungie Crossings.
The mall is expected to become a pedestrian village-like atmosphere for shoppers with smaller retailers and open-air restaurants surrounding the Home Depot. Currently, Jones said there is room for four additional businesses in the eastern half of the property. He expects other retailers in the coming months to submit plans to the township.
Township zoning allows shared parking for other retailers alongside Home Depot. Approximately 400 parking spaces in total are approved for Home Depot, with some of those spaces being counted for future retailers.
Founded in 1978, The Home Depot is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the world. The big-box retailer is known for its one-stop-shop of tools, building products, appliances and services and is designed for the “do-it-yourselfer”.
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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann can be contacted at [email protected].