Route 541 shopping center will make way for distribution center and commercial buildings

BURLINGTON TWP. – While demolition is well underway at a former mall here, a developer has unveiled plans for new construction at the unique Burlington Center site.

A Maryland company wants to build three warehouses totaling 1.9 million square feet at the huge property off Burlington-Mount Holly Road near Interstate 295.

His proposal also calls for commercial development of more than 100,000 square feet, including stores, restaurants and doctor’s offices in eight buildings. That compares to over 850,000 square feet of space in the long vacant mall.

The project, known as The Crossings, is due to be presented to the Township of Burlington Planning Council on Thursday, June 3.

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The council will also consider plans for an independent mall with a Chipotle restaurant and up to four other tenants. The 12,000-square-foot project would stand next to a Lidl supermarket that opened last summer on the same highway, also known as Route 541.

A render shows a proposed distribution complex and commercial buildings, bottom right, proposed for the Burlington Center site, a shopping center being demolished in Burlington Township.

The Crossings is developed by a subsidiary of a Maryland real estate investment trust, Lion Industrial Trust. The smaller retail center is offered by a group that includes Vernon Hill II of Moorestown, the president and CEO of Philadelphia-based Republic Bank.

Township officials pursued the redevelopment of the Burlington Center for nearly 15 years, eventually reaching agreement on the current proposal.

The two-level mall was built in 1982 by Maryland-based Rouse Co., which developed Cherry Hill Mall in 1961 and Echelon Mall in 1969. The mall has had to contend with rising rates. vacancy before closing when burst pipes flooded its interior in January 2018..

Demolition began on the 230-acre site in March and is expected to continue in September.

The warehouses could employ more than 1,000 workers in buildings ranging from 210,800 to 939,300 square feet, according to an environmental impact statement for the project.

The former Burlington Center shopping mall, shown in a November 2020 photo, is being redeveloped into a warehouse complex with eight smaller buildings for retail, services and medical use.

Distribution centers would offer “loading stands” for 336 trucks and parking lots for more than 1,000 cars, according to the developer’s app.

Access to the semi-trailers for the warehouse would be limited to Burlington-Mount Holly Road, he said.

Retail businesses, including at least three restaurants, would occupy approximately 43 acres of the property. These buildings, which are expected to rise near the intersection of Bromley Boulevard, would have an area of ​​between 2,850 and 55,655 square feet, depending on the application.

The plan also includes extensive landscaping to filter the project from homes located near Hampshire Road.

According to the environmental impact statement, the plantations include more than 160 trees and nearly 1,300 shrubs.

Jim Walsh covers public safety, economic development and other beats for the Courier-Post, the Burlington County Times and the Daily Journal.

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