South Fayette hears comments on proposed UPMC hospital
April 12, 2017 10:44 PM
UPMC is proposing a three-story hospital as well as outpatient medical offices at the Newbury Plan in South Fayette.
By Deana Carpenter
South Fayette Township Commissioners will be set to vote next week on whether to allow UPMC to build hospital as a conditional use in the Newbury Plan on a 16-acre parcel along Presto Sygan Road.
UPMC is proposing a three-story hospital as well as outpatient medical offices on the campus.
Brett Malky, president of Newbury, championed the hospital along with a Top Golf entertainment facility at the commissioners’ Wednesday workshop meeting.
“Obviously Newbury has taken a long time,” Mr. Malky said. The development is on its 14th revision. “It’s been a long, hard struggle,” he added.
During a presentation to commissioners, Mr. Malky referred to a study Newbury had done by the research firm Buxton, which pointed to health care facilities, not retail, as long-term viable options in developments.
“We needed to be creative,” Mr. Malky said, adding that big box retail was not a realistic option with stores like Target and K-Mart closing locations.
“Health care in the South Hills is a very underserved marketplace,” Mr. Malky said, adding that UPMC wants to build a “world class” medical campus in the township that would create hundreds of jobs.
“They are going to invest over $100 million-plus,” he said.
Joseph Horowitz, president of the board of commissioners, said he has heard from some residents that they are concerned about potential noise from ambulance traffic and helicopters.
“Planning is very much still in flux relative to the facility,” said Roger Altmeyer, director of community project development for UPMC. He said that detailed plans would be coming in two to three months if the board approves the conditional use application.
Mr. Altmeyer said the location would have a helicopter pad, it would not be a trauma center and no patients would be arriving via helicopter, only departures to larger hospitals.
He added that UPMC East in Monroeville, which is larger than the proposed South Fayette hospital, has about 10 helicopter flights leaving from it per month.
South Fayette resident Chip Davis said he didn’t think a hospital was the best use for the property.
“I don’t understand why you are saying the South Hills is underserved,” Mr. Davis said. “What we were promised at Newbury was a town center,” he said. He said a grocery store would be better suited for the development.
“The vision is compromised,” Hank Moore, who lives in the residential portion of Newbury, said of the proposed town center.
“When we bought in there, there wasn’t any hospital in the plans,” Mr. Moore said.
“I also have several concerns about UPMC,” he added. “I don’t think we are underserved. The only reason I think they’re here is to drive St. Clair out of business,” Mr. Moore said, pointing out that St. Clair and Canonsburg Hospitals are close by.
Resident John Tigue, who also lives in Newbury, was in favor of the hospital.
“These two anchors are very important to get the development moving,” Mr. Tigue said. He added that the new development could also bring young professionals to move to the township.
Katelyn Duchardt, a Newbury resident, agreed that the hospital would be an asset to the community.
“I think there’s a lot more here that’s a benefit,” she said, adding that a lot of jobs would be created.
Additionally, Top Golf is also proposed to be located in the Newbury plan.
The Dallas-based golf and entertainment center has about 28 facilities open in the United States and has nine under construction this year.
The proposed three-story, 65,000-square-foot facility could create 500 jobs. If approved, the facility would be the only Top Golf in Pennsylvania.
The board of commissioners will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. April 19 to receive comment on UPMC’s conditional use application. The board is also set to vote on the matter at the meeting.
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner.