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South Fayette's Newbury Market development in works

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Plumes of dust and the sounds of construction are rising from the vast brownfield in South Fayette that will become Newbury Market, a mix of retail, office and hotel space that could be larger than Ross Park Mall in terms of square footage.

New permits from PennDOT and financing will allow Bridgeville-based EQA Landmark Communities to break ground in the spring on the next phases of more than 1 million square feet of offices, retail and a hotel, an apartment complex called Newbury Village, a small shopping center along Route 50 called the Gateway Shops and road improvements along Interstate 79, Route 50 and Washington Pike, company officials said.

If all goes according to plan, the first shops and apartments will open in 2015, said Eric Newhouse, project manager.

President and CEO Brett Malky said EQA has secured financing for the residential and commercial aspects of the development, and is negotiating with retail and office tenants.

Aside from a Giant Eagle and a Courtyard by Marriott hotel, Newhouse said the company was not yet in a position to name tenants.

Contractors are completing the environmental cleanup from the site's past life as a chemical plant, and are grading the land in preparation for roads and utility lines to be laid in the spring and summer. Industries used the land for nearly a century, and Reichhold Chemical closed its plant there in 2005.

“We're grading out the building pads, parking lots and roads. Once that's complete, we'd move into utility installation and infrastructure,” Newhouse said. “When (that happens) depends on what Mother Nature throws at us this winter.”

John Poister, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said most of the contaminated soil either has been trucked off-site or “capped” with layers of clay, a special membrane and clean soil brought from the residential portion of the development on a hill above the commercial site.

“Most of the dirt you see at the site now came from the residential side where the soil is clean,” Poister said. “This soil was moved down to the lower commercial area, where it is being used as part of the cap cover.”

A few areas of the site were polluted with benzene and declared off-limits to development, but the master plan shows those areas as green space anyway, he said.

Newbury Village, a complex of 250 garden apartments in 11 buildings plus a clubhouse and pool, will be built on 37 acres off Oakridge Road.

The Gateway Shops will comprise about 23,500 square feet of retail, restaurants and a bank along Route 50 at what will become Newbury Market's main entrance, where the former 84 Lumber store stood.

Site work for Newbury Village and the Gateway Shops is to begin in the spring. Crews should be able to begin construction after that, because those phases require less preparation than the rest of the project, Newhouse said.

The first phase of Newbury Market might take a little longer. It will include the Main Street-style complex near the entrance to the development, where smaller retailers and offices will be clustered around a public square. Behind that will sit the Giant Eagle and a “power center” made up of mid-size retailers.

Also in the spring, crews will begin road improvements aimed at making it easier to access the site from Route 50 and nearby I-79.

Left-turn lanes onto Route 50 will be added to the I-79 southbound off-ramp and to northbound Washington Pike.

Traffic lights will be upgraded and synchronized along Route 50, and new entrances to the development with traffic signals will be built on Route 50 across from the former Star City Cinemas and on Presto-Sygan Road across from Newbury-Highland Drive.

Staff writer Sam Spatter contributed to this report. Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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