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BUTLER TWP., PA-Parsippany, NJ-based Woodmont Properties has amassed seven separate sites for development of what, internally, it now calls Woodmont at Butler Township. The plan, still subject to regulatory approval, calls for nearly 1,000 residential units and three retail sites.

The land parcels, which are close but not contiguous, encompass an aggregate of more than 200 acres. All are located at Interstate 80 and Route 309 between Hazelton and Wilkes-Barre. Each development eventually will have its own name, beginning with the first phase of the 200-unit Butler Commons townhouses and followed by the 70,000-sf Butler Plaza, a multi-building retail center.

Lewis Zlotnick, Woodmont’s COO, tells GlobeSt.com that the estimated cost for the entire development project is $100 million. He says it will rise in phases over a four- to five-year span. He anticipates approvals will be in hand within a year for Butler Commons, eyeing a groundbreaking on the initial 80 units in winter 2007.

Townhouses will range from 1,400 sf to 1,800 sf, according to Jamie Stover, development manager. “These are for-sale residences at prices that have not yet been determined,” he says. Butler Commons also will contain a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, parking and other class A-style amenities.

Butler Plaza is expected to break ground in early 2008. Stover describes it as a “strip formation with outparcels.” It has been mapped out for a supermarket and big box retailer. The other retail sites will be called Sunnyside and Woodmere plazas. In all, the retail projects call for a bank, drug store, fast-food eatery and other tenants “geared to providing neighborhood services,” Stover says. “They could also include professional offices.” The retail land fronts Route 309.

The third planned component is Butler Square, designed to contain 250 apartments in 10 low-rise buildings. Units will range from 800 sf to 1,200 sf.

Plans for the additional sites are not yet final. “Regulatory approvals are ongoing,” Stover says. Residential sales are expected to begin in 2007.

This represents Woodmont’s continuing expansion in Pennsylvania and its largest development plan in the commonwealth to date. The $30-million, 206-unit Woodmont Mews rental apartment complex in Bethlehem breaks ground this month, following a recently opened joint-venture, multifamily project in Lower Nazareth.

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