The sales agreement between South Fayette and the potential buyer of the former Star City Cinemas on Route 50 has been extended into March.
The commissioners agreed Oct. 19 to extend the deadline from Nov. 9, 2016, to March 9, 2017, after Horizon Properties Group LLC, which is slated to buy the property for $5 million, asked for more time to resolve possible issues identified in the Environmental Phase II report on the property.
The parcel was once a part of the 11-acre former Mulach Steel site.
Township manager Ryan Eggleston confirmed in an interview that there may be a need for remediation, although details are unclear at this time.
“They are working through that. They are still trying to characterize what the issues are on the site,” he said.
“As the developer continues to work through items related to closing on the Star City property, they have asked us to extend their due diligence period by 120 days,” Mr. Eggleston said at the Oct. 5 workshop meeting. “We did receive a notice from American Geosciences Inc., who is doing some of the work on behalf of Horizon. They are applying to the [state Department of Environmental Protection] for the next steps as discussed.”
Demolition of the Star City Cinema building is to begin in the next two weeks. The park-n-ride lot will be moved to the front of the parking lot near Route 50, close to the site of the old Texaco gas station. The site of the old theater will be blocked off with jersey barriers.
Horizon Properties was originally responsible for the demolition of the structure, but South Fayette commissioners unanimously awarded a contract Oct. 19 to Ritenour & Sons Construction Co. Inc. to demolish the property for about $227,500. Nine bids were received ranging from $227,500 to $445,000.
The cost will be covered by the township’s capital reserves fund. But the township will be reimbursed, Mr. Eggleston said.
“From a timing standpoint — with this extra due diligence from Horizon and the time needed — we felt that it would be an opportunity for us to move forward, so that the building is not up there for another year. It speeds up the process. We will get our money back,” he said.
While the original terms of the sales agreement cover the cost of demolition — which would be paid for by Horizon — no terms are set forth for remediation costs that may be incurred by the potential buyer. As a result, Mr. Eggleston said, the cost incurred by the township to demolish the property will either be paid back or credited to the township when the final details of the sale are settled.
“The two costs could balance each other out,” he said.
Horizon will continue to have exclusive purchase rights during the time of the sales extension, which was approved unanimously by the commissioners, with Commissioner Raymond Pitetti not present.
Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer; firstname.lastname@example.org.