Plans in works to bring cafe, bike rental shop to Collier's Panhandle Trail
A cafe and bike rental shop may soon come to the Panhandle Trail in Collier.
Planning now is in the formative stages for what would be called the Walkers Mill Station, which would be located at 22 Walkers Mill Road.
This two-story, 1,338-square-foot house dates back to 1868, the year it was built; it was recently purchased for $28,000 by Carnegie resident Kip Padgelek.
“I come out (to the Panhandle Trail) quite a bit, and this is something I believe would be a great addition. It also would be a great reason for people to go there. They go to the trail anyway, but I think a lot of people who go to the trail are looking for something like this,” Padgelek said.
The old house is green. It can be found at the Walkers Mill Road entry point to the Panhandle Trail, which has become a popular walking, running and biking trail since it opened more than 12 years ago.
Before renovations of the house can begin, Padgelek must purchase 5,000 square feet of property next to that building, said Collier Manager Sal Sirabella.
Right now, the price of that property is not known, Sirabella said. The township's zoning hearing board and planning commission already have recommended approval to the commissioners, Sirabella said.
“(Padgelek) is working with us to purchase the land right now, and it looks as though we can make this project work,” Sirabella said.
If it does, renovations and remodeling of the Civil War-era building would take between 12 to 16 weeks, Padgelek said. He said he hopes to have it open by mid-summer.
“I believe we will get there. I think everyone believes this will be a great asset for the (Panhandle Trail) and for the community. And it will be great for the economy as well,” he said.
If Walkers Mill Station comes to fruition, the bike rental and repair area would be on the first floor. The second floor would be separated for the cafe area.
If Walkers Mill Station does become a reality, it may stay open all year, Padgelek said.
“We have not had any negative feedback on this so far. We will take this and see where it goes.”
Jeff Widmer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.