There are commercial enterprises interested in the former Tyco Electronics site on Hamilton Street in Carlisle, but work has to be done to make that site more attractive to potential users.
The site is one of three former industrial areas included in the Carlisle Urban Redevelopment Plan.
“This is probably one of the most challenging of the three sites because we have a lot of significant costs as it relates to demolition, stormwater management, infrastructure, site prep, and it is a smaller site,” Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation CEO Jonathan Bowser told Carlisle Borough Council last week.
Bowser updated the council on progress at the site, and requested that the council consider a tax increment financing for the site.
Commonly known as a TIF, the tax increment financing plan is a means for local government to quickly raise a large amount of money to support infrastructure improvements needed for development. Under the TIF plan, taxing entities dedicate the tax proceeds from new construction on the redevelopment site to pay on the bonds taken out to finance infrastructure improvements.
A TIF plan was approved for the former Masland/IAC site and finalized earlier this year.
Real Estate Collaborative, a subsidiary of CAEDC, has control not only of the Tyco site, but also of two adjacent sites with frontage on North Hanover Street that Bowser said is key to the success of the site.
“A lot of the users that we had talked to said they really needed access off of North Hanover Street,” Bowser said.
The two smaller sites along North Hanover Street are in North Middleton Township, and would need to go through rezoning, he said.
Bowser said funding from the Environmental Protection Agency obtained by the borough was vital in making the project work to this point. That funding allowed REC to do both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 reports which have an estimated combined value of between $85,000 and $100,000.
Beyond demolishing the 55,000-square-foot structure, REC is looking at additional assessments and remediation to prepare the Tyco site for commercial use. It is expected that more than $2.5 million will be spent on the effort to prep the site with about $1.4 million of that related to demolition and remediation costs alone.
Bowser anticipates building 43,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of office space on the site, but notes that the numbers could change due to demand once the project gets to the marketing phase. That is expected to create 83 jobs and have an economic impact of about $9.9 million on an annual basis.
“This is really the vision that we would have for a site like this — something that’s welcoming not only to residents but to visitors alike,” Bowser said.
All of the parcels are still on the tax rolls. The Hamilton Street site pays about $20,000 in taxes yearly, and that is expected to increase to about $76,000 when the property is redeveloped. The two lots on Hanover Street currently have a lower value as they are essentially vacant lots, and would bring in about $111,000 at full buildout.
Bowser said REC has been talking to the state about using DCED programs to offset costs, and he has spoken with the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority to potentially look into additional funding from the EPA.
Bowser asked the borough to consider looking at the viability of enacting a TIF plan for the site to bring in essential funds.
“Without any level of a TIF or any other funds that can be brought into it, the project just isn’t viable,” Bowser said.
REC is now in the due diligence period, and wouldn’t expect a decision before the end of the year.
The Tyco site is the last of the three brownfield sites in the various stages of redevelopment. Discussion had started back in 2012 of redeveloping the sits of the former Lear plant, Carlisle Tire & Wheel plant and Tyco plant.
Carlisle Auto Industries, a sister company to Carlisle Events, is working on redeveloping the former Lear plant into a mixed-use site.
PIRHL has been working on the former Carlisle Tire & Wheel site with the aim for a mixed-use site, and plans for the residential portion.
As the two companies worked on those sites, there had not been much movement on the former Tyco site, which had closed in 2009.