Moon OKs agreement to secure property

| Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Moon supervisors approved a maintenance agreement for a former hotel site on University Boulevard that has been vacant for years, but could be redeveloped next year into a hotel and restaurant complex.

Supervisors last week adopted a property maintenance agreement between the township and Summit Venture Partners LLC of Lancaster, Pinnacor Management Group Inc. of Reading and Synergy Real Estate Corp. of Elizabeth.

Synergy has an agreement to buy the property from Summit Venture Partners and Pinnacor Management for a development at the former Rodeway Inn site. Terms haven't been disclosed.

Supervisor Marv Eicher said the agreement calls for the property to be secured and made safe until it is redeveloped.

The owners and developer are to cover maintenance costs until the building is razed, he said, and the deal came about because the code enforcement officer notified those responsible for the site that action was being considered because the building had deteriorated.

The township agreed not to take code enforcement action, if maintenance work was done.

A fence around the property that fell down is back up, and minor repairs have been made, he said.

Eicher said Allan Wampler, president of Synergy, has approached the board twice this year to discuss plans for the property.

Wampler said plans are to maintain the property until the Rodeway Inn is razed in the fourth quarter of 2014. The demolition would make way for a new hotel, casual dining restaurant and fast-food facility, he said, and while the hotel could be a Hilton product, the brand hasn't been determined.

“There hasn't been a new hotel in Moon in 20 years,” Wampler said. “We definitely believe there's enough demand.”

Moon lost a hotel earlier this year when Robert Morris University bought a former Holiday Inn and converted it to a student dormitory.

However, Eicher said, developer Sam DiCicco is building a hotel near the FedEx headquarters off Montour Run Road in Moon. A Hilton Homewood Suites built by Concord Hospitality is to open in 2014. DiCicco is part owner of Concord.

The former Rodeway Inn property is difficult to develop because it forms a U around the Eat ‘n Park property on University Boulevard, thereby reducing its visibility, and has height restrictions because of its proximity to runways at Pittsburgh International Airport, Eicher said.

Also, access onto University Boulevard heading north is difficult.

Because of the access issue, Wampler said, the goal is to create a campus-like setting with a Sheetz convenience store and gas station and an Arby's that are adjacent to the site.

Merging the businesses into one campus would give motorists using the proposed hotel and restaurants access north and south at a traffic light at the Sheetz building.

According to Allegheny County assessment records, Summit Venture Partners bought the 3.68-acre property in 2004 from Airport Plaza Hotel LLC for $1.56 million. It now is assessed at $700,000.

The property has been vacant for years, following a 2006 fire in a closet in the 100-room motel. A woman living in the motel later died, as a result of the fire.

Sandra Fischione Donovan is a freelance writer.

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