Developer buys nearly 1,400 acres in Archbald

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A developer spent more than $17 million on land along the Casey Highway in Archbald with plans to continue coal mining work and eventually develop the property.

Tinton Falls, New Jersey-based Stavola Companies bought nearly 1,400 acres of land from Silverbrook Anthracite Inc. of Laflin for $17.355 million, according to a recent property transaction.

Michael Gentoso, the CEO of the Stavola Companies, expects to continue what the previous owners were doing for coal production, as they have a coal mining permit, while looking to develop the land for other purposes. Stavola is a family-owned business involved in real estate development, contracting, recycling and construction materials, he said.

“You look at warehousing, you look at light manufacturing, things like that,” Gentoso said.

It’s a long-term project, and they could begin work within the next few years depending on the engineering and approval processes, he said.

They purchased the land after a mutual party connected them with Silverbrook Anthracite, who were interested in selling their land, Gentoso said.

The Archbald land marks Stavola’s second move in Pennsylvania. The firm primarily operates facilities in New Jersey, according its website, but Gentoso said they have a quarry in Schuylkill County. The firm does not have any plans for additional land acquisitions in the area, he said.

Archbald officials plan to meet with Stavola representatives on Wednesday, said borough manager Rob Turlip.

The borough received questions from Stavola about what they can do with the land, Turlip said, adding, “there’s nothing definitive.”

Under Archbald’s current zoning, the land falls under a resource conservation district, he said. However, Archbald has spent the past four months redoing its zoning ordinance, which includes creating a new comprehensive plan and subdivision and land development ordinance, Turlip said.

They’re almost halfway done with the process, and if Stavola officials want the land rezoned, “now is the time to do it,” Turlip said, noting the time and resources going into the zoning update. “We’re not changing anything after that.”

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