Hazle Twp. Supervisors grant tax exemption for warehouse campus

·3 min read

May 11—A development company secured tax breaks over the next decade for a nearly 4-million-square-foot warehouse campus that it wants to build between Beaver Brook and Hazle Village in Hazle Twp.

The township supervisors voted unanimously Monday to grant a tax abatement that BlueCup Ventures LLC seeks for warehouses it wants to build on about 360 acres of mine-scarred land on both sides of Route 309.

The township is the last among local taxing jurisdictions to approve of the tax break, which was granted under the state's Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act and awards a 65% abatement of property taxes that applies only to improvements and not the land.

The firm would continue paying $15,439 in current local, county and school taxes on the land each year as well as 35% of property taxes on new construction.

BlueCup wants to invest $120 million over five years in the warehouse campus, which would house three "Class A" tenants, according to plans that the firm shared with the township. The warehouse campus could create as many as 7,520 direct and indirect full-time jobs through 2026, according to projections released by the developer.

The firm wants to build a 907,500-square-foot building by the third quarter of 2022 on the east side of Route 309, near a large culm bank. Americold Logistics would occupy that building, according to Jeff Randolph, a managing partner with BlueCup.

Two other buildings would be built on the west side of the highway and include a 1,013,000-square-foot building that would be built on about 80 acres in 2023 and a 2,028,000-square-foot building on a 192-acre parcel that would be built by the third quarter of 2024.

Taxes paid to the three taxing jurisdictions would increase to a combined $1,740,783 with the LERTA in place. After 10 years, the project would generate $3,626,628 in local, county and school tax revenue, according to BlueCup.

The county's share would increase from the current $5,186 per year to $584,735 per year under the LERTA exemption and to $1,218,236 per year when the program ends after 10 years.

The township's share of tax revenue would climb from the $630 it currently receives each year to $71,085 per year with the LERTA and $148,093 per year after the program ends.

School taxes, meanwhile, would increase from the current $9,622 per year to $1,084,944 per year with the LERTA and to $2,260,299 each year after 10 years.

Resolutions that grant the tax exemption for BlueCup and approve a storm water management plan for Americold passed with virtually no discussion before the board of supervisors on Monday.

BlueCup's project is among at least eight large scale warehousing or industrial projects proposed throughout Greater Hazleton over the next several years.

Contact the writer: sgalski@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3586

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