FALLS TOWNSHIP >> The Falls Township Planning Commission will soon begin review of a 1-million-square-foot warehouse on River Road as part of the sprawling NorthPoint Development project eyed for 1,800 acres of the U.S. Steel property.
The planning commission meets on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. Township Engineer Joe Jones told the supervisors the first phase of the massive 10 million-square-foot project would be before the advisory body during that meeting. The Falls Supervisors could begin reviewing the land development plan as early as its meeting on March 15.
NorthPoint Development plans to construct 20 or more state-of-the-art industrial warehouse buildings totaling 10 million square feet, with the potential for 15 million square feet. NorthPoint officials have said that the project would bring companies like GM, Amazon, Chewy, Walmart, UPS, FedEx and more to Falls Township, creating 5,000 to 10,000 new light industrial jobs.
NorthPoint will rename the Keystone Industrial Port Complex the Keystone Trade Center as part of the $1.5 billion redevelopment, which is expected to begin this spring.
The transformation of the U.S. Steel site entails upgraded and updated utilities, freshly paved roads, landscaping, and approximately $25 million earmarked for environmental remediation, officials said.
The Falls Supervisors last month adopted an ordinance designating the bulk of the U.S. Steel property as a Keystone Opportunity Investment Zone. Pennsbury School Board and the Bucks County Commissioners also voted to support the KOIZ designation, which began on Jan. 1 and continues through Dec. 31, 2035.
Under the KOIZ designation, NorthPoint would not be required to pay real estate taxes. Instead, the developer agreed to a payment in lieu of tax agreement which requires NorthPoint to pay 110 percent of the taxes owed to the three taxing authorities each year.
In other township news, the Board of Supervisors voted on Jan. 18 to authorize advertisement of a proposed ordinance change that would prohibit smoking on any township property except in designated areas.
The proposed ordinance change would mirror what was enacted at township-owned parks, attorney Lauren Gallagher said.
The Falls Township municipal complex does not have designated smoking areas, officials said.
According to the proposed ordinance – which the Supervisors will consider for adoption during the Feb. 16 meeting – smoking includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, other lighted smoking instruments, as well as vaping.
Smoking is banned from most indoor places in Pennsylvania as part of the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which became law in 2008. Last year, state lawmakers introduced a bill that would have extended the Clean Indoor Air Act to include all public places.