The Hershey Company plans to build a massive warehouse and packaging center south of Route 422 between Annville and Palmyra in South Annville Township. Construction could start as early as this month.
“This plot is located on Killinger Road and abuts the east side of Killinger Creek and the north side of Killinger Road,” said Township manager Don Umberger in a July 1 email. “The facility will serve as a warehouse and packaging center. The original structure will encompass more than 800,000 square feet and at build out will be over 1,000,000 square feet.”
That area is zoned “I-1 Industrial” according to the township’s zoning map.
“At build out it should provide more than 500 jobs,” said Umberger. “The project calls for widening and reconstructing a greater portion of Killinger Road. Traffic to and from the plant will be from 422. The project is set to start in July of 2020.”
Lebanon County property records show a June 30 deed from Easton based MFS, Inc. to The Hershey Company for a sale price of $9,269,000.
County records showed that MFS owned slightly over 420 acres in South Annville Township just before the June 30 land transfer. About 177 of those acres are listed as having either a Killinger Road address or an address on nearby Millennial Way. The June 30 deed assigns approximately 93 of these acres to Hershey in a newly-subdivided parcel. (See the full deed below.)
Eastern Land and Resources Company, a “doing business as” name of MFS, has additional holdings in the area. According to Eastern Land’s website, 400 acres of an original 536+ acres remain available for development in this area, although this figure does not appear to reflect the recent Hershey Company transaction.
Township supervisors were poised to pass an ordinance at their June 10 monthly meeting clearing the way for Hershey to receive property tax reductions under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act. The minutes for this meeting have not yet been posted to the township’s website and LebTown expects to confirm the outcome of the vote on Monday, although no response had been received at press time.
“LERTA” ordinances create immediate tax reductions, followed by gradual increases over 10 years, on new building construction and improvements at industrial properties inside designated zones. Owners still have to pay full taxes from the start on the land itself.
UPDATE, July 6, 2020 at 12:37 p.m.: South Annville Township manager Don Umberger confirmed this morning that an ordinance making the property eligible for LERTA financing was passed at the June 10 supervisors’ meeting.
South Annville Township, at the request of the Hershey Company, had been keeping the project under wraps for several months. Official board of supervisors meeting minutes referred to it as “Project Beta,” the earliest such reference appearing in the November 13, 2019 minutes.
LebTown has pending inquiries out to the Hershey Company and South Annville Township for more details and will be continuing to cover this developing story.
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