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Project Profiles

Route 3 North

Location

Easton, Pennsylvania Region

Project Sponsor

Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT), Charles Chrin Companies

Program Areas

Project FinanceRevenue - Non-Road Pricing Revenue

Mode

Highway

Description

The Route 33 Interchange Project involved the construction of a new interchange along Pennsylvania Route 33 and associated improvements in Palmer Township, 65 miles north of Philadelphia near Easton. A surrounding 628-acre site with a single owner is being developed as the Chrin Commerce Centre, a mixed-use development with industrial, distribution, office, and retail components. The owner is selling parcels of land to third-party developers.

To facilitate access to the development, a new interchange has been constructed between Main Street running east-west through Palmer Township and the site, and Pennsylvania Route 33 running north-south with connections to I-78 to the south and I-80 to the north. The developer donated approximately 22 acres of land to PennDOT for the interchange right-of-way and made other infrastructure improvements within the Chrin Commerce Centre site.

A development agreement between the land owner and the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority, which provides nonprofit and manufacturing companies access to tax-exempt financing, set out responsibilities for payment of the infrastructure improvements: approximately $13.6 million of improvements paid for by the developer and $27.4 million in public improvements, including the interchange design, acquisition, and construction, the widening of Main Street, and replacement of the existing bridge over Main Street. The public improvements were financed in part by bonds issued against a tax increment levied on the properties within the improvement district (Route 33 Neighborhood Improvement District) where the development is taking place. An agreement between the Authority and the relevant taxing bodies (Northampton County, Palmer Township, and the Easton Area School District) allows the use of the tax increment to repay the bonds.

Cost

$43.8 million

Funding Sources

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bonds - $14.7 million

Developer equity contribution - $6.6 million

Developer land contribution - $2.1 million (appraised value)

Developer funded improvements - $13.6 million

PennDOT funding - $5.9 million

Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant Program - $0.5 million

Monroe County funding - $0.4 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method

Design-bid-build and private development

Private Partner

Charles Chrin Companies

Project Advisors / Consultants

Bond Counsel - Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Developer Counsel - Steven N. Goudsouzian LLC

Special Counsel to Developer - Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC

Tax Increment Financing Advisor - Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc.

Neighborhood Improvement District Advisor - MuniCap, Inc.

Lenders

Bondholders

Duration / Status

Construction on the interchange and ramps began in November 2013. The interchange opened to traffic in July 2015.

Financial Status

Closed

Innovations

  • Innovative use of TIF financing to support a highway interchange improvement.
  • Innovative funding mix of private contributions, bonds back by TIF revenue, and state and local funding.
  • A Neighborhood Improvement District ensures that if the land is not developed within a certain time period - and the tax increment is not generated - the developer is responsible for repayment of the bonds.

Related Links / Articles

Palmer Township Project Description

Chrin Commerce Centre

Chrin Commerce Centre Presentation

Project Images

Contacts

Northampton County Industrial Development Authority

Tel: (610) 559-3200

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
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