Burlington Township Council considers warehouse project

Council heard from developers about a proposed facility that would bring 50 to 60 jobs to the township

A proposed warehouse on Commercial Drive would bring 50 to 60 jobs to the area, developers told Burlington Township Council during the governing body’s April 10 meeting.

The firm, Exeter Property Group, is seeking to enter into a five-year tax abatement agreement with the township for the planned 97,500-square-foot warehouse.

“We think it’s not only a good development but a smart development and a community-minded development,” Henry Steinberg, Exeter’s regional manager, told Council. “Putting warehouses where warehouses want to be, which is next to other warehouses (and) close to major roads.”

Members of Council responded positively to Exeter’s presentation, saying the proposed warehouse is an appropriate project for the area.

Steinberg said Alpi, an Italian logistics company, has made a commitment to move into the warehouse once it’s built. However, the deal is contingent on whether Council grants the abatement, he said.

“I think there’s a likelihood that once they’re in this building, they’re going to be there not just for five years, or the life of the abatement, but they’re going to be there for the long-term future,” Steinberg told Council.

“I think they’ll be a valuable employer but not an over-user of infrastructure either,” he added.

Steinberg said Exeter would create a through road between Kissel and Connecticut drives and revamp the site’s stormwater drains if the project moves forward. The company would also fix potholes along Commerce Drive, he said.

“If we build this building, what we’re going to do is clean up the entire area,” Steinberg said.

Exeter, which is headquartered in Conshohocken, Pa., has developed two warehouses nearby — one on Kessel Drive and another on Connecticut Drive — and has owned the site for about 10 years.

Steinberg said the firm’s Burlington Township tenants include a paper company and a moving storage company.

The company’s involvement with properties in the township could continue to grow. Township Administrator Walter Corter said Exeter has expressed interested in buying and redeveloping the Burlington Center Mall.

“They want to come in and talk to us,” Corter told Council. “They are anxious to buy the property.”

Councilman Robert Jung said he was concerned about Exeter developing warehouses on the site. It wouldn’t be a good use of the property, he said.

Corter said Exeter’s proposal would contain a warehouse component, but the company would sell the retail portion of the property to another company to be redeveloped.

“They want to know what you’re looking for here,” Corter told Council. “If it’s something unrealistic they know they can’t develop, they won’t do the deal.”

Also during the April 10 meeting, Council passed an ordinance adopting a redevelopment plan for a site on Dultry’s Lane that’s also slated to be developed into a warehouse.

The location is in the area of 152 Dulty’s Lane, according to the ordinance.

“It has been determined that the property is in need of redevelopment,” Corter said. “It’s an old site for Praxair.”

The redevelopment plan will further the township’s goal of revitalizing former industrial properties and may help improve truck traffic on Route 130, according to the ordinance.