The activity at Dykeman's Corporate Park on Route 312 in Southeast has piqued residents' curiosity.
In recent weeks, Patch has received several inquiries as to what's happening at the property, which sits on the south side of the roadway, east of the railroad tracks. We touched base with Tom LaPerch, the chairman of the Southeast Planning Board, to get the lowdown.
The project calls for two buildings and additional "site improvements" to be executed in several phases, according to the board's March 26 meeting minutes.
Site plans submitted by the applicant, Southeast-based Covington Management, project the first building's square footage to be about 26,840, and the second's 20,000. Town code calls for structures in that zone to be no more than two stories, or 35 feet, in height.
The larger one, which is scheduled to go up first, will serve as a "general business" space, with room for professional services, offices and/or a warehouse. The smaller is slated to house a vehicle service station.
Town officials accepted the site plan for the first time in 2008, and then again in 2010 as the first approval neared its expiration.
This spring, leaders once again gave their OK on the same plans, as the time period of validity for the previous one dwindled.
According to LaPerch, the applicant was unable to secure the bond required for the project in its entirety. He said the "climate for bonding and banking has not opened up, and developers who are otherwise ready to break ground are being held up," according to the minutes.
LaPerch told Patch that he and other officials agreed to bond the project in phases in order to allow the applicant to move forward with preparing the land. At this point, the property is undergoing clearing and excavation, which LaPerch estimated will be complete within a few months. He said the move is the first of its kind in Southeast.
"What this applicant has requested is a smaller bond due to the problem securing bonds in this economic environment, she said. What we are looking to do is bond it so that if the applicant were to walk away from the project, the Town would have the funds to restore the site and put in all the erosion and sediment control practices, Ms. Ley explained," the minutes state, referring to Town Planner Ashley Ley.
Additional bonding would be required before building and other aspects of the project may begin.
"One of the things we always try to do in this town is make it more business-friendly," LaPerch told Patch, adding that if the Town had not given the applicant "relief" on the bond, the project would have remained stalled and unstarted.
Site plans call for the project to be completed over nearly a four-year period. LaPerch says he does not know of any potential tenants.