Interstate 79 projects ramp up in South Fayette
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Construction plans are ramping up at the Interstate 79 ramp in South Fayette.
Two major developments planned at the highway's Bridgeville interchange are making progress, though it will be a couple of years before they open.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is designing an $18.5 million pediatric clinic next to the former Star City Cinemas, at the foot of the southbound exit ramp. Newbury continues to work toward a $450 million plan for about 60 businesses, 200 houses and 250 apartments bordered by I-79, Route 50 and Presto-Sygan Road.
Representatives of both projects outlined their progress during the South Fayette commissioners meeting July 11.
UPMC has been working with consulting firm Fahringer, McCarty, Grey Inc. of Monroeville and architect IKM Inc. of Pittsburgh to develop a "creative site plan," said Roger Altmeyer, UPMC's director of community project development. A preliminary layout for 2.6 acres includes a 60,000-square-foot outpatient center.
UPMC hopes to submit a formal development application in the fall and begin building next spring, with the goal of opening the clinic by autumn 2014.
Adjacent to the planned clinic is the three-quarter-acre site of a future Washington Financial Bank and a former theater that the township owns and might convert into a civic center.
Officials from the township, bank and hospital have been meeting every two months to discuss plans for the site, said Marshall Bond, former South Fayette interim manager who continues to consult with new manager Ryan Eggleston.
"This thing is starting to move," Mr. Bond said.
Across Route 50 from the Star City complex, land preparation continues for Newbury Market, a commercial plan to include 1.2 million square feet of retail, restaurant, hospitality and office space.
Newbury Market construction could start in mid-2013, project manager Eric Newhouse of EQA Landmark Communities said.
That timeline reflects a later start than developers had estimated during a township meeting in November.
"We're making good progress on the project, and we have continued to advance the project over the course of the past half-year," Mr. Newhouse said.
Initial businesses will include a Giant Eagle supermarket, a Courtyard Marriott hotel and various retail stores, he said. Also, Madison Realty Group of Pittsburgh plans to build and lease two office buildings containing 50,000 square feet and 60,000 square feet.
To accommodate the shopping center, Newbury - in conjunction with the township and a $500,000 state grant - will make road improvements on Route 50, Washington Pike, Presto-Sygan Road and the southbound exit ramp of I-79.
Newbury can begin work on the state-owned roadways after the township receives a highway occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Mr. Newhouse expected to start the road work next spring - a year later than previously projected.
He said the key to the retail center's progress is the relocation of 84 Lumber, which is expected to be complete by summer's end. Newbury is moving that business to Presto-Sygan Road to make way for the Newbury Market entrance on Route 50.
Newbury - a project aimed at redeveloping the 80-acre site of a former chemical plant - also includes two residential neighborhoods.
Mr. Newhouse hopes to start construction in the fall on Newbury Village, a 244-unit garden apartment complex slated for Oakridge Road.
Occupancy of the rental units could begin by next summer, he said.
Single-family home construction continues on a hill above Presto-Sygan Road. So far, Newbury has sold more than 70 homes there, Mr. Newhouse said.
First Published July 19, 2012 12:00 am