Developer seeks third extension for West Lebanon proposal

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

WEST LEBANON — The city’s Planning Board will decide next month whether to grant a third two-year extension for Iron Horse Park, a mixed-use development proposed to West Lebanon.

The nine-member board on Monday postponed deliberations to allow the city’s attorney more time to weigh in.

Twin State Sand and Gravel, which owns the 92-acre property off Glen Road slotted for development, is asking for an additional two years to begin construction. It hopes the project will bring 660,000 square feet of retail, office and industrial space to the site. The project was first approved in 2012 and has received two extensions.

Iron Horse developers argued the project should be allowed to move forward, considering Twin State has invested more than $7 million in improvements so far. They also said plans to bring a “big-box” store to the property are still viable.

“We’re finding that the retail being most affected by Amazon are specialty things like bed and bath,” Greg Coats, development manager for the project, said in an audio recording of the meeting Monday.

A Target, Costco or Whole Foods could come to Lebanon, he said, adding “several of them have expressed interest recently” in Iron Horse Park.

Advocates for the project said they’re also working with the city to develop a tax increment finance district to help fund construction.

The district would allow the city to fund public infrastructure improvements, with the money then being recouped using tax revenue generated by increased property values. Lebanon Planning Director David Brooks said discussions regarding the creation of a TIF district date back to 2015.

“Since that time, in all the conversations that we’ve had with the applicants, we’ve asked for more information,” he said. “We’ve asked for more information about how it would work, where the developers would come from to help make sure that if the city floats a bond, it’s going to get paid back. And we’ve never gotten that information.”

The Planning Board will discuss the Iron Horse Park project at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 10 at Lebanon City Hall.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.