CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – From a strip mall to a mixed-use community, change is coming to Chambersburg, Franklin County.
Borough council voted late Monday to allow the Chambersburg Area Municipal Authority (CAMA) to purchase the Southgate Mall.
This has been a Borough objective for decades.
The plan is being carried out in two phases so that it can be subdivided and resold to private developers for redevelopment.
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The previous board cleared a sale agreement to purchase the property from Franklin Southgate LLC for $4.5 million for both phases in October.
The money will come from the US federal bailout, provided to the Chambersburg area municipal authority.
There will be no impact on borough tax rates.
The plan is to have new apartments, townhouses and starter homes, as well as a public plaza, green spaces and even a new health facility.
The borough and the CAMA will not own or promote it in the long term.
The borough council says the project will increase tax revenue and utility sales.
Some council members call it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and most neighbors were in favor of the plan.
“One of the things that community members and community members indicated was that they wanted the health care facility in the third ward and so this plan is so exciting to me,” said a woman who grew up in Chambersburg.
Any money recovered from the resale may be reprogrammed by the Borough Council for use at Southgate or any qualifying community and economic development project.
“I keep hearing you’re expecting all that money back, but I doubt you’ll get 70% of what you play back with that, and that might be the best thing. I don’t know to what else could it be used for,” said a local commercial real estate agent who was skeptical of the sale.
The staff will prepare the resale of the land in parcels to third-party developers during which the shopping center will be owned on an interim basis by CAMA until the resale but managed by the borough.