Assist with traffic signal, access road off Rt. 739

MILFORD - Pike County commissioners have agreed to serve as the applicant for a grant exceeding $500,000 for a major commercial/residential/medical development where Log Tavern Road meets Route 739 in Dingman Township. The project has been named Dingman Towne Centre by the developer, DEPG Development Associates/ Legend Properties, Inc..
The commissioners approved the resolution at their July 17th meeting, for the state funding that will focus on the completion of a complete traffic signal at this busy junction, where the entrance road to the proposed development being the fourth leg of a four-way intersection. The development’s site is on the west side of Route 739.
The first part of the work on 739 is being covered under a separate projects and is to start construction this summer. The new application focuses on the entry into the site as well as the required turning lanes, signage and signalization of the entrance road.
The second part of the funding request is to provide the entry road from 739 up to a point just past the intersection that provides access to the first development pad. This pad, which is not part of the grant request, is planned to be developed into a commercial retail establishment.
Under a future, separate project, the entry road will continue into the site and provide access for additional retail space, as well as medical offices and residential units.
DEPG is responsible for three popular commercial development projects on Route 611 in Stroud Township, Monroe County. DEPG is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Jim DePetris, General Partner with DEPG, told The News Eagle about their current plans for economic development.
He said they like the central Pike location very much, which he said would serve a need in an area that has been seeing important population growth.

Work in phases

The project will be done in phases.
Phase 1 includes a small grocery or convenience store, medical offices, a fast food restaurant and retail businesses. Phase 2 includes senior townhouses and other residences.
A health club and assisted living facility are also planned.
The overall project will utilize approximately 70 to 80 acres of a 280 acre parcel. “We believe in open space,” he said, noting that the development will be like a town, where residents there can walk to the shops, dine, find entertainment and recreation. DePetris said this is a development model occurring throughout America.
He estimated it would take about eight years to complete, spreading out the economic benefit to the area while providing significant employment.
The biggest driving component, DePetris said, is the proposed two floor, 30,000 square foot medical space. Pike County, he noted, has a lack of services, without the nearest hospitals in adjoining counties. DEPG has been in contact with medical providers, he said, about the providing doctor offices and even an urgent care facility.
The clustered development includes 100 senior townhouses and 100 multi-family residential units. DePetris stated that these are all “higher quality” units, and they wish to try and model the success of the Rivers Edge senior housing project that opened in recent years in Matamoras.
The site, he noted, is very hilly and will take a great deal of leveling. He said the grant funds will be necessary to build the access road. In addition to the Transportation Department grant being funneled through the county, he said they are also seeking a Local Share Account state grant.
Once completed, however, Dingman Towne Centre will have a commanding view with high visibility for the medical services and other businesses. The development will be about 40 feet in elevation above Route 739.
The development is a short drive from the Township park, Dingman Township Volunteer Fire Department and Dingman Township branch of the Pike County Public Library, all located on Log Tavern Road.  
DEPG will provide for the Centre’s own central sewage system, he noted.
Pending approval of the grant funding, the goal is to being construction in the late spring of 2020.

Focus on Route 739

Michael J. Sullivan, Pike County Economic Development Authority (EDA), said he has worked closely with the developer on the project. He said they have a good reputation for development work done in Monroe County.
He stated that he spoke some time ago at Hemlock Farms, where residents expressed their urgent desire to see more services along Route 739. Sullivan noted that many people think of Milford as Pike County’s center, but the most populated area is along 739 from Lords Valley to Dingmans Ferry.
Dingman Towne Centre all bring welcome medical and assisted living services as well as retail, Sullivan said. He added that is only two and a half miles north of another commercial project in Delaware Township, expected to break ground in September, an 80,000 square foot retail plaza with a much-needed supermarket. The “Great Recession” of 2008, the recovery of which took some time to reach Pike County, delayed progress, but Sullivan said that a lot is happening in Pike right now. He called the Dingman Towne Centre a very positive sign.

Announced in 2014

An agreement to buy the parcel by DEPG was announced in July 2014. The first 20 acres were purchased in 2018, and another 10 are to be acquired before the end this year. At the March 2019 meeting of the Dingman Township supervisors, Jim DePetris and Doug Olmstead of DEPG presented to the board, a concept plan for Dingman Towne Centre.
A letter of support to the commissioners for the application from the Dingman Township board of supervisors, notes that the project, if completed, will generate tax revenue for the township, county and state, as well as much needed employment opportunities.
The supervisors noted that they are aware that the site has “challenging topographic conditions” and a grant for the completion of the access road will make this site commercially competitive.
The DEPG developers told the Dingman supervisors that construction of the access road will cost close to $1 million due to the topography.
Specifically, the resolution asks for a Multimodel Transportation Fund grant of $501,825 from the Commonwealth Financing Authority, for Dingman Towne Centre.
DePetris expressed gratitude for the support given DEPG Associates from the county commissioners and Dingman Township board of supervisors. The Dime Bank is the lender for the project.