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Shopping center plans move ahead

May 12, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Subdivision plans for a new shopping center in Rouzerville, Pa., cleared an early hurdle on Monday.

The Washington Township (Pa.) Planning Commission agreed to recommend the township supervisors grant preliminary approval to Washington Township Center, a 10-lot development planned on the Anthony Bittner farm. One of the shopping center's main access points would be from Washington Township Boulevard across from the Applebee's restaurant.

The original developer for the property pulled out of the plan, so Bittner is guiding the land through the approvals process on his own. His Realtor, Tim Light, said that could change, though.

"We have four developers interested," Light said.

They are based in Florida, Baltimore and Virginia, Light said. The developer will determine which businesses locate at the property, although Light previously said it's been eyed by Target, Martin's Food Market and Olive Garden.

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"Each developer has different end users they want to use," Light said.

The speed at which the development progresses also relies heavily on banks and lending, he said.

The lots are laid out in a way that allows smaller parcels to be combined for big box retailers, Light said. However, most interest has been expressed for the approximately 2-acre lots, he said.

"We have a number of end users waiting for the smaller plats," Light said.

The subdivision was OK'd by engineers and the Washington Township Municipal Authority, township officials said. The Franklin County (Pa.) Soil Conservation District approval had not been received by the township, but surveyor R. Lee Royer said he's been told it's forthcoming.

"It's dotting Is and crossing Ts at this point," Royer said.

Planning commission members Melvin O'Dell, Christopher Firme and Lisa Donohoe unanimously agreed to pass the plans onto the supervisors with their blessing.

Light praised the township boards and staff members for their cooperation. The Realtor said he and Bittner are looking forward to improving the tax base and creating jobs in the township.

"Franklin County has one of the best work forces in this country," he said.

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