Home Depot finally coming to this Lehigh County shopping center
After more than a decade, Home Depot is gearing up to finally be built at a Lower Macungie Township shopping center.
The township’s board of commissioners last week approved the development of the 136,058-square-foot building at the Macungie Crossings shopping center, 5877 Hamilton Blvd. The property sits east of Movie Tavern Trexlertown and the headquarters of Air Products and to the west of the popular Hamilton Crossings shopping center.
The Lower Macungie site will join other regional Home Depot locations in Bethlehem Township, Palmer Township, Whitehall, the Allentown area, and Greenwich Township in Warren County. There are currently 500,000 employees working at 2,300 stores across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to the chain’s website.
Developer RB Grange Road Associates initially in 2007 received land development approval by the board of commissioners for the building. Then, the 20.8-acre parcel sat vacant for more than a decade at the shopping center.
It’s unclear specifically why. A representative for New York-based RD Management, the mall’s leasing agent, declined to provide further information Wednesday to lehighvalleylive.com but said the company was willing to share more details at a later date.
Nathan Jones, the township’s director of community development, said the project gained traction again this past February when RB Grange representatives appeared before planners to modify their previous approval. The developer sought reductions in required parking and removing a previously planned separate retail building.
RB Grange is planning to begin construction for a summer 2023 opening, according to RD Management’s website.
Throughout the past 15 years, Jones said site improvements additionally have been made to help mitigate concerns over parking by area residents.
Township officials continue to work with businesses to optimize traffic flow on Hamilton Boulevard during the land development process for new projects. Continued enhancements to traffic-light timing and signal synchronization along Hamilton Boulevard also is performed, Jones said.
An expansive garden center for the Home Depot project also has since been moved to the north side of the building to accommodate seasonal outdoor sales. Township officials additionally worked to customize architecture and building components in order for the store to meet the community’s Hamilton Boulevard Corridor Plan and the Lower Macungie Township Design Guidelines, Jones said.
New additions to the store now will include stacked stone; multiple façade materials; and an additional storefront-style sign façade facing Hamilton Boulevard that will be visible from the street. Vehicles will be able to utilize electrical charging stations in in the parking area. There also will be new “dark sky friendly” lighting, meaning fixtures that minimize glare while reducing light trespass and skyglow, as well as LED parking lot lighting installed. Board members encouraged RB Grange to install solar panels on the roof in the future.
The Home Depot project is part of a larger vision for Macungie Crossings.
The shopping center is planned to become a walkable, village-like atmosphere for patrons with smaller retailers and outdoor dining surrounding the Home Depot. Currently, Jones said there’s space for four additional businesses on the eastern half of the property. He expected additional retailers in coming months to submit plans to the township.
Township zoning allows for shared parking for other retailers alongside Home Depot. About 400 total parking spaces are approved for Home Depot with some of those spaces being counted toward the future retailers.
Founded in 1978, Home Depot is one of the largest home improvement retailers worldwide. The big-box retailer is known for one-stop shopping for tools, construction products, appliances, and services and geared for the “do-it-yourselfer.”
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Pamela Sroka-Holzmann may be reached at [email protected].