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EXETER TWP., PA-The $100 million Exeter Commons retail project here received a boost from the state in the form of an infrastructure and facilities program grant. The Berks County Industrial Development Authority will receive $796,476 a year for the next 10 years to defray some of the project’s $18 million cost for road improvements.

As previously reported on GlobeSt.com, Exeter Commons, located along Route 422, will consist of a 500,000-sf facility anchored by Target, Lowe’s and Giant Supermarkets. Other tenants will include Circuit City, Famous Footwear and Chick-Fil-A. The property is being developed by Exeter JV Associates, a partnership of Ironwood Property Group and the Goldenberg Group.

Jeremy Fogel, president of Ironwood Property Group, previously told GlobeSt.com that traffic problems kept many retailers out of the Exeter area. “This area is really a hole in the donut for a lot of retailers,” Fogel said. “The Berks County market is an area where a lot of the anchor stores have been looking to locate. Because of the traffic problems, this particular target is one they’ve looked at, but haven’t been able to locate in.” The site, at the intersection of Business Route 422 and Bypass Route 422, suffered from traffic backup due to the large number of cars trying to merge.

The developers worked with Traffic Planning and Design, an engineering firm, to come up with a series of improvements to help traffic flow in the area. These improvements include adding a traffic signal to the point where the bypass and Business Route 422 merge, widening the roadway to the east and creating a new bypass so drivers can avoid the area.

Exeter JV is responsible for slightly more than one third of the cost of these improvements. The remainder will be taken up by BCIDA. The grant will be used to address improvements to several intersections along Route 422, install traffic signals and extend nearby roads.

Exeter Commons, which broke ground last month, is expected to open in summer 2009.

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