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Dispute between Fed Ex and Horse Farm Scheduled to be Settled through Mediation

Monday, October, 12, 2015

Fed Ex’s attempts to build a ground plant could be in trouble, as the dispute concerning the plant between the company and Willow Brook horse farm heads to mediation. Trust members from Willow Brook claim they support the Fed Ex project, budgeted to cost $335 million, but they refuse to let building begin until the developer agrees to protect the farm.


The dispute also affects the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority. The airport’s financial future is dependent on the nearly $10 million deal to sell the land to FedEx. It’s possible the dispute between the farm and FedEx could kill the deal.


The dispute arose when the family refused to remove a deed restriction on the 260 acres property FedEx plans to use for the plant unless the Rockefeller Group agrees to build a berm to protect the horse farm. The family also has requested fair compensation for widening Willow Brook Road.


Judge Lawrence J. Brenner ordered both sides of the dispute into mediation, which began October 7th. The decision comes two years after the dispute began with nothing but unsuccessful talks along the way.


The family understands how important it is to get the plant built, especially since it could bring 3000 jobs to the area. However, they also want to make sure the property that has been in their family for a century is protected. They believe their requests are reasonable and point out they are not trying to block development or get rich from their circumstances. They are willing to negotiate, but they are not willing to compromise when it comes to their family property.