Plans for a 1,080,289 square foot distribution center warehouse on 103 acres in Benner Commerce Park have been resubmitted. Photo of Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com
Plans for a massive distribution center warehouse in Benner Commerce Park are back on the table.
Developer SunCap Real Estate Group resubmitted a land use plan for the 1 million square foot “distribution center warehouse” on a 103-acre site along Penntech Drive in Benner Township, county officials say. Center and Canton
Township clerk and treasurer Sharon Royer said the plans appear to be unchanged from the original submission, which was removed in April. No reason was given for the withdrawal at the time.
SunCap Property Group is “unable to provide comment at this time,” Senior Vice President Matthew Virgin wrote in an email to StateCollege.com on Thursday.
Center County Subdivision and Development Planner Christopher Schnure said his office received the resubmitted plan in July and it was “nearly identical” to the one withdrawn earlier this year.
The initial plan was estimated to create 700 jobs, but the company behind the warehouse has not been revealed. During a presentation at a meeting of the Center County Board of Commissioners in AprilSunCap Property Group representatives said they were bound by a nondisclosure agreement and could not identify the end user.
“Essentially all we know right now is that this is an e-commerce warehouse,” Commissioner Michael Pipe said at the time.
The warehouse would employ 370 day and 313 night workers, as well as seasonal workers, Schnure said at the April meeting.
Warehouse plans showed 900 parking spaces on the west side of the building and 70–80 semi-trailer bays on the east and south sides.
Primary access to the building would be from Venture Drive. A traffic impact study identified “very minimal improvements” needed to manage traffic flow due to the proximity of the Interstate 99 interchange, Schnure said in April. A traffic light would be installed at Penntech Drive and Benner Pike, which the business park had long planned.
Before the plan was withdrawn in April, Center County Commissioner Steve Dershem said he was worried about not knowing which company would operate such a large facility.
The Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Group Moshannon Club have also raised concerns about the environmental impact of the site’s large amount of impermeable surface on the nearby Logan Branch wild trout waters and karst aquifers, springs and water reserves of the canton.
The organizations did not oppose the development, but a Benner Township resident, speaking on behalf of the two groups at a meeting of commissioners, said he wanted to see the developer use “green infrastructure” to stormwater management, as well as a retention system to ensure vehicle fluids did not seep into groundwater.
The resubmitted project is on the agenda of the Benner Township Planning Commission for Thursday evening only as part of an update on future land use plans that will be presented to the commission. A formal presentation and vote on a recommendation will take place at a later date, Royer said.
The Center County Planning Commission will review the plans at its August 16 meeting, according to Schnure
This story will be updated.