North Huntingdon commissioners declare Norwin Towne Square blighted
North Huntingdon commissioners on Thursday declared Norwin Towne Square, the 1950s-era plaza on the west end of the township, blighted and deteriorated.
In making that designation, commissioners unanimously approved a tax abatement program, called LERTA, the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance act.
Now that the property has been deemed blighted, the two other taxing bodies — Norwin School District and Westmoreland County — can consider the tax abatement plan.
The LERTA agreement declares new construction or improvements at the site 100 percent tax exempt for five years.
“For redeveloping deteriorated property, it's a great tool for us,” John Shepherd, township manager said.
The program allows the developer to spend any increase in taxes on development instead, Shepherd said.
The tax abatement applies to improvements at the site, and it excludes the actual land value, said Don Tarosky, a partner at Colony Norwin LLC, which owns the property.
Work has begun on the plaza located along Route 30 between Malts Lane and Lincoln Way. Plans for Norwin Towne Square include demolishing part of the plaza, adding a grocery store and building a car dealership.
Tarosky told commissioners that every part of the structure will be redeveloped and little is salvageable.
“If there's a definition of blight in this township,” he said, “it is Norwin Towne Square.”
And that property, he said, is “dead center in the township.”
“We hope a year from now everybody will look there and be proud,” Tarosky said.
Tarosky said the company has worked on the LERTA proposal with Norwin School District and the county's redevelopment authority.
If the property would have continued to deteriorate, Tarosky said, tax assessment would have continued to drop as well.
“It's a win-win,” he said. “That's why you do it.”
The Shop ‘n Save planned for the site will be complete by the end of 2013. The car dealership planned for the Square will likely be complete in summer or fall 2013.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Liriano strikes out 12, leads Pirates past Mets
- Hinderliter sets personal best while winning PIAA gold in javelin
- Women’s walk across Koreas’ DMZ denied; they cross by bus
- Cleveland protests of officer’s acquittal mostly peaceful
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Montoya passes Power on final lap to win Indy 500
- Pirates notebook: Substance rule a sticky subject
- Flash floods in Texas, Oklahoma kill 2; hundreds of homes gone
- After bruising safety crisis, U.S. car watchdog shows its bite
- Unquestionable courage & sacrifice
- Man shot while driving through Liberty Tunnel