FALLS TOWNSHIP >> The Falls Supervisors discussed the possibility of a large-scale warehouse being constructed on more than 95 acres of land along the Delaware River during its June 15 virtual meeting.
The board reviewed a sketch plan from Stalwart Equities for construction of 916,300 square feet of warehouse space and 60,000 square feet of office space. The bulk of the property – 84.664 acres – is at the former Solvay tract. Two other parcels totaling more than 11 acres are comprised of land on South Pennsylvania Avenue and a portion of the former Rogers foam tract on East Post Road.
The property is bound by industrial uses along East Post Road to the north, the Delaware River to the east and Biles Creek, vacant land to the south and a mix of commercial and residential properties to the east between the site and South Pennsylvania Avenue.
Samuel Wachsman, Stalwart Equities president, told the board that his industrial development company has undertaken multiple developments in central and northern New Jersey. The Falls building would be used mainly for storage.
“Product will be coming in and distributed either to New Jersey or the Philadelphia market,” he said.
In response to a question from a resident, Wachsman said the building would not house hazardous materials or toxic chemicals.
Should the project move to fruition, officials said the warehouse would employ 500 or more local employees. Officials told Falls Supervisors that the project would generate $963,000 in real estate taxes to the Pennsbury School District, $41,000 in municipal taxes and $33,000 in annual local services taxes.
Stalwart officials have not yet submitted a land development plan or had the project reviewed by the planning commission. Until land development plans are submitted, the Supervisors cannot vote on the project. According to sketch plan documents filed with the township, Stalwart officials intend to file a preliminary land development application this fall, followed by a final land development application in spring 2021.
Falls would need to schedule, advertise, and hold a public hearing on the application. To move forward, the Supervisors would need to grant conditional use approval since warehouses are not a permitted use in the riverfront district.
A similar development in Woodbridge, N.J. is in the works and will be built to suit a tenant or tenants, Wachsman said. Walmart is a tenant for a separate project in Long Island, N.Y., he said.
The Falls site could house one tenant or be subdivided to house up to four, Stalwart officials said, adding that details on occupancy would not be known until the project is finalized and marketed.
Traffic could be the project’s largest obstacle. Stalwart’s traffic consultant told the board that the property would host 700 vehicles daily. Of those, 150 to 200 per day would be trucks.
Developers are planning to widen South Pennsylvania Avenue to help accommodate traffic. In addition, the warehouse would have separate truck and passenger vehicle access. The truck route would be Route 13 to Tyburn Road to South Pennsylvania Avenue. Trucks exiting the site would be directed to turn left and head south along South Pennsylvania Avenue. Passenger vehicles would be able to access the site from both the South Pennsylvania Avenue and East Post Road driveways.
Traffic from Tyburn Road would be the “biggest problem,” Dence said.
The Supervisors spoke favorably of the project and its economic impact.
“We look forward to you guys coming back with a plan,” Dence said.
Supervisors Vice Chairman Jeff Boraski said the property has been vacant for as long as he could remember.
“The project looks very promising,” Supervisor Brian Galloway said. “It will be a good thing for our tax base.”