Monday, October 2

Entertainment venue Topgolf proposed for Lower Macungie Township – The Morning Call

The golfing entertainment chain Topgolf could be on its way to Lower Macungie Township as part of a proposed mixed-use development.

The township planning commission considered the overall project during a Tuesday night meeting.

The project, titled the Lehigh Valley Town Center, is a 45-acre Jaindl Land Co. development proposed for land bordered by Schantz Road, Interstate 78 and Route 222. The parcel is made up of property formerly owned by Eastern Industries as well as open agricultural land.

Nathan Jones, the township’s director of planning and community development, said the developers are seeking a zoning modification to allow for a use that’s currently allowed in immediately surrounding zoning districts.

Todd Waldo, the director of real estate development for Topgolf, said the two-story venue will be a big economic driver that will create 300 jobs, bring in tax revenue and host features such as a restaurant, bar and an outdoor dining area.

The other current Topgolf locations in Pennsylvania are in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Waldo added.

“… Certainly with your support, we hope to make Topgolf a reality in the township,” he said.

As a sketch plan, the planning commission didn’t take action, but Chair Thomas Beil voiced his approval of the potential Topgolf venue.

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“I think Topgolf would be a great addition to the township, though I’m not a golfer,” he said.

It’s the first of many steps the mixed-use project would have to undergo. In terms of what it would bring on the retail side, it would be one of the biggest projects since Hamilton Crossings opened in 2016.

The development would include a 12,500-square-foot retail grocery store as well as retail and entertainment space and an unspecified number of residential units.

Also discussed Tuesday, French & Parrello Associates of Wall Township, New Jersey, proposed 372 apartments and a 160-room hotel on 617 North Krocks Road across the bypass from the Hamilton Crossings shopping center.

Covering 54.4 vacant acres in the highway commercial district, the Krocks Road mixed-use development would include a clubhouse and pool for the apartments, almost 20,000 square feet of commercial space and parking.

The planning commission ultimately tabled the proposal until the applicants could fix the plans, with one issue being the 50 apartments that would exceed the ordinance limit.

In August, Jones said, “We understand as a community that there is a regional housing issue, so we recognize that the private market as well as other governmental agencies are advocating for more housing units. Township staff goals [are] ensuring that a good, quality development maintain[ing] its desirability and value for years to come is built, that it mitigates its traffic and storm water impact on our community as well as our abutting community, Upper Macungie Township, and that it provides needed services for its residents.”

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