There has been a lot of press about the new interchange that has been built connecting Route 33 to Main Street in the northern part of Palmer Township. Below is a map that shows the location of the interchange and the artist's rendition of the interchange. This interchange is a very large public/private project that services the Chrin Commerce Centre which is being built on land surrounding the interchange.
The foresight of reserving the open land in the northern part of the township for economic development has been part of the township's comprehensive plan going back to the 1980's. It was stipulated in the plan that any change in the zoning would only occur if the transportation issues related to getting vehicles in and out of this area could be resolved. This interchange construction opens this area to the type of development the plan envisioned.
The construction of the interchange began in November 2013, was dedicated on June 25, 2015 and opened to traffic on July 2, 2015..
This project was funded through a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) which allows municipal bonds to be sold through the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority. The repayment of the bonds comes from the increased revenue in real estate taxes as new buildings are built. The real estate taxes that each taxing body currently receives will continue. To protect the taxing bodies if development does not occur or is less than expected and as a result there is not enough tax revenue to pay the financial obligation, a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) has been created which will put the financial obligation on the property owner and not the taxing bodies.
The development of this area is estimated to create over 5,500 jobs and generate over $16 million in tax revenue for Palmer Township, Easton Area School District and Northampton County.