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Perkasie to partner with Pennridge Airport Business Park


Perkasie Borough Council unanimously voted to partner with Pennridge Airport Business Park for a $2 million grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

Council would receive about $20,000 for being the municipal “pass through” on record for the grant program, officials said.

RACP money is made available for eligible community revitalization projects under Pennsylvania’s Capital Budget Itemization Act.

Council voted at a regular business meeting Sept. 3, and Councilman Steve Pizzollo was absent from the meeting.

Once completed, the Pennridge Airport Business Park project is expected to create about 2,300 new jobs; of those 770 would be located in Perkasie with the remaining jobs in East Rockhill Township, said Stephen Barth. Barth is principal of Barth Consulting Group and Perkasie’s economic development consultant.

The roughly $70 million project includes Phase I of about 100,000 square fet of building space, being built “on spec.” Barth said to date; no tenants had been signed on to the property.

Long term, the roughly 80-acre project could be home to six buildings, located in Perkasie and East Rockhill Township.

“What happened before is companies outgrew us and they left the borough. With the industrial park we’re hoping that no longer happens,” Barth said.

He expects Perkasie’s employment figures to double with new business development and the airport business park.

By courting high-end industrial users at the Pennridge Airport Business Park property Barth said electric revenue could grow significantly, too.

He said electric utility revenue was up 4 percent overall, but some sectors were significantly down.

“Where things are changing is the industrial users have gone down dramatically. Primary users like Landis Supermarket have gone down 68 percent. I think we can expect the greatest area of growth in the borough,” at Pennridge Airport Business Park, Barth said.

With the relocation of EFE Laboratories to Perkasie, 70 new jobs were created in the borough and another 30 are expected as the facility expands, Barth said.

Barth’s “America’s Hometown” update for 2019 presentation included an economic development overview.

He said 300 new homes had been completed and that 200 more were “in process” with housing representing about 33 percent of Perkasie’s community and revenue.

Barth said the impact of new housing has upped real estate prices in Perkasie. As a result, higher real estate prices have increased annual household income as well, by about 30 percent.

“It increases everyone’s property values,” he noted.

The average family home price in Perkasie for new homes is about $350,000 and the average Towne Center home price is about $265,000, Barth said.

“Housing was expected to grow to about 500 homes by 2030. We’ve achieved that in less than a 10-year period,” Barth said. There’s still retail and business space available in Perkasie’s Towne Center, with about 15 vacancies on the market to fill, Barth said.

“Every day we take a new step forward,” said Councilman Chuck Brooks.