Familiar developer eyes restaurants for former South Fayette theater site
If South Fayette Township Commissioners accept one of the bids to develop the land where Star City Cinemas once stood, the township will either be getting new restaurants or a senior housing facility.
On Wednesday, commissioners received two proposals for the land. Burns & Scalo proposal is for restaurants, something the company's president, Jim Scalo, said the township needs.
“The residents tell us, ‘We need sit-down restaurants,'” Scalo said. “We think it's the highest and best use for the property.”
Scalo said his proposal is for five stand-alone restaurants, with a fountain at the entrance, called The Piazza.
Scalo also reminded the board Burns & Scalo attempted to purchase the property when it was sold to Horizon Properties Group for $5 million. Horizon backed out of the deal last fall. Burns & Scalo also bid to lease the land prior to that.
“This is the third time I've bid on this,” Scalo said. “So, I want the property for all the right reasons.”
Scalo's competition comes from Continental Real Estate.
Barry Ford, Continental's President of Development, also is a South Fayette resident. Continental proposes a high-end senior housing facility.
Ford said it would be similar to the $35 million, 175-unit Middleton project they are constructing in Moon.
“This is a major investment we are looking to make here,” Ford said.
Ford said the facility would offer housing for rent, employ 75 to 100 people and have a minimal impact on traffic in the region, as opposed to possible restaurants and retail coming across Millers Run Road at Newbury Market.
Commissioners voted to table awarding a proposal until the next meeting on February 21.
Township manager Ryan Eggleston said the land holds a commercial zoning and it is unclear if apartments conform to that zoning.
• Commissioners unanimously approved a tax credit for township volunteer firefighters.
Firefighters will now be eligible for a $300 earned income tax credit and a 20 percent reduction in real estate taxes.
Commissioner Gwen Rodi said the chiefs of all four volunteer fire departments gave the ordinance a thumbs-up. She also said other municipalities are looking to South Fayette's ordinance as a model for their own.
Eric Eisert is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.