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Iron Springs Plaza on indefinite hold

Danielle Ryan

(10/16) It was announced early this month that the Iron Springs Plaza project has been placed on indefinite hold. The Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors canceled the $1.9 million contract with Fayetteville Contractors.

Realtor and Developer David Sites of David L. Sites Realty Leasing & Management proposed the project, and intended to construct the shopping center on a 17-acre tract located at the intersection of Iron Springs and Fairfield (Route 116) roads. The plan was to subdivide the land into five lots, one of which would contain a 35,000 square foot grocery store, as the plaza anchor business, and a 7,200 square foot retail business. Giant was the original grocery store considered, and later Kennie's Markets was discussed. Unfortunately, both deals fell apart after years of trying to find a grocery store anchor. Sites states that he needs to find a different use for this property so for now, no new Grocery Store will be coming to Southwest Adams County.

Supervisor Chairman Bob Gordon stated that the contract was cancelled after the township learned that, as part of the project, they would need to move the utility poles. This factor was not originally planned for and would have cost an additional $300,000. The township is currently working on this issue and expects to acquire the necessary funds in the near future. In addition, Sites, as a cash contributor of the project, is not willing to put forth any more funds until he finds an anchor tenant.

The Iron Springs Plaza has been in the works since 2011, when the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the projectís subdivision and land development plan. This past April, Hamiltonban Township Supervisors had announced that the Iron Springs Plaza project would be advancing at last. However, one month later, the bid process was delayed due to an expired permit.

The beginning stages of the project would have entailed infrastructure work for the future plaza. This would have included excavation, bituminous pavement placement, major drainage, signs and signals, construction of handicap accessible/ADA compliant ramps, concrete curb and sidewalk, pavement restoration and pavement marking modifications, in preparation for the plaza construction.

Hamiltonban Township has thus far been awarded two grants for this project. Last year the township was awarded a grant in the amount of $550,000 from the Commonwealth Financing Authorityís Multimodal Transportation Program. This grant money was allotted for improvements to Fairfield Road and Iron Springs Road, including the intersection of both roads. The $550,000 grant was added to the $700,000 grant received two years ago by PennDOT, which was intended to cover costs related to the transportation infrastructure; those costs including permitting, road realignment and traffic signals. The $700,000 grant has no deadline and the $550,000 grant has a deadline of June 2019, so the township has time to resolve the issues currently being faced.

More information, or updates will follow as presented.

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