Big and tall: Plans unveiled for latest large project in Antrim Township

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot

Antrim Township supervisors got a first look recently at the latest large scale development proposed along the U.S. 11 corridor south of the Borough of Greencastle.

PRDC Properties, a regional developer of warehouses, residential and multi-family properties, has a contract on the 110-acre Century Inc. site along U.S. 11.

It is across the street from Corelle Brands, formerly World Kitchen; just north of the A. Duie Pyle integrated logistics center; and near the Greencastle-Antrim Area Development Corp. industrial park and Antrim Commons Business Park.

Anthony Maras, president of the Philadelphia-based PRDC, showed supervisors a concept plan and explained that his company proposes to construct three buildings on the site — one about 25,000 square feet, another about 600,000 square feet and the largest about 625,000 square feet.

This concept plan shows the three buildings, including two 600,000 square feet or larger, proposed on 110 acres just south of the Borough of Greencastle and along U.S. 11.

PRDC is negotiating with a potential tenant for the largest building, which would be a 125-foot-high, highly automated storage facility, Maras said.

A variance will be needed from the township zoning hearing board for that height.

Similar height variances were granted in 2020 for U.S. Cold Storage on Hykes Road at 125 feet and NorthPoint Development's NP Greencastle III fulfillment center on Milnor Road in the Antrim Commons Business Park at 85 feet.

The township's current ordinance caps buildings in the industrial zone at 50 feet, which Sylvia House, zoning and code enforcement officer, has termed "antiquated" and in need of updating.

Taller buildings: Fulfillment center and cold storage facility proposed in Antrim Township

Strength in numbers: Greencastle-Antrim and Chambersburg chambers form alliance

The zoning hearing board is scheduled to hear PRDC's variance request on Sept. 9.

Maras showed supervisors sketches on Aug. 10 of views from U.S. 11, Leitersburg Road and Interstate 81, saying if he was in their shoes he would want to know what things look like.

Because of screening and vegetation, the buildings would not be visible from U.S. 11 or Leitersburg Road, but would be seen through the tree line from Interstate 81, which is higher.

He said the site would not be any noisier than any other warehouse or distribution center and that there is more ambient noise from Interstate 81.

PRDC wants to foster cooperation and dialog in municipalities it works with and had reached out to Rescue Hose Co. Fire Chief Kevin Barnes about the plans, Maras said.

Supervisors discussed conditions they would like to see placed on a height variance, and talk center on fire suppression and a repeater system to improve radio communication inside and outside the building in case of a fire or other emergency.

Supervisors indicated they support the variance. If it is granted, Maras wants to submit the land development plan in late September or October and aims to have all township and state approvals to start work in spring 2022.

"No tenants are yet selected, but we have had a lot of inquiries already…further confirming our research and conclusion about central PA and Antrim Township," Maras said.

Century Inc.'s vacant tract, seen from U.S. 11 south of Greencastle, is under contract by PRDC Properties, which proposes two large buildings and one smaller building on the site.

He was driving through Pennsylvania on Interstate 81 and saw Century Inc.'s sign on the property and got in touch with Duane Kinzer, Century president.

"I did a lot of research about the overall area, including the 81 corridor, the fact that central PA was seeing a continued rise in population, did research on the schools, tax base, job opportunities, employment base, etc., and really confirmed what I already knew…central PA is a great place to live and work," Maras explained in an email.

"The site was accessible to 81 north and south, and is really close to Hagerstown and a lot of other industrial synergy," he continued. "Based on that, we decided to enter into an agreement of sale and approached the township about our concepts."