A waiver for the construction of a 3-story, 15,000-square-foot professional complex in Palmerton has been granted.
Borough Council, on a 5-0 vote Thursday, with one abstention, accorded the request to Pencor Services Inc. Councilman Jeremy Barbosa abstained because he is a part-time employee.
The waiver is in regard to a section of the borough's Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance that requires four-square-feet of off-street parking for every one-square-foot of building use.
Also as part of its approval, council, by the same margin, agreed to grant conditional approval for the land development plan, and to enter into a developer's agreement.
Council made those decisions after it heard a presentation from Steve Pany, of Pany & Lentz Engineering Co.
Pany said Pencor plans to build the complex at 462 Delaware Avenue. The new building will house about 35 Pencor employees, which will include the Purchasing Department, IT and Accounting Department, as well as room for expansion for additional employees.
Also as part of its plan, Pencor intends to take down the building at 456 Delaware Ave., which currently serves as an apartment complex.
Pany said they have proposed 70 parking spaces; 43 of which would be on-site, with the other 27 remote in the lot at Fifth Street and Delaware Avenue.
Borough Manager Rodger Danielson noted the facility will closely resemble the building at 401 Delaware Avenue.
Resident Maynard Silliman questioned the appraisal value, and how it would affect both the borough, as well as the school district.
"I believe in Pencor, but I'm trying to save every penny you can for the borough and the school district," Silliman said. "What's going to be lost there for the borough and school district."
Silliman added "to see the buildings knocked down and used for parking lots; I can see that. But, I'm looking for the taxes."
Pencor Services Inc President David Masenheimer offered a statement to address such concerns in an article that ran in this past Tuesday's edition of the TIMES NEWS about the new building.
"There were concerns that taking down the buildings was reducing the tax base," Masenheimer said. "But, since we're going to be building this new structure, it will have a net gain to the tax base."
Council President Terry Costenbader said he believes the complex will bode well for the borough.
"They're taking two homes down and putting in a good-sized building," Costenbader said. "That's going to just about make that a moot point; that will put that over."
Council Vice President Chris Olivia said council has discussed the situation at great length.
Mayor Brad Doll added "the real estate value of this will be more than a couple of houses."
Pany said he "believes there is substantial upside to this particular project."
He said Pencor would like to break ground on the building this summer.