ShareThis Page

Mon River site still waiting for first tenant

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 10:28 a.m.
Nearly two years after Mon River Industrial Group purchased the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Allenport Plant, the group is looking to attract its first tenant.

When Mon River Industrial Group purchased the former Allenport steel plant in early 2012, the investors had aspirations of attracting new companies to the brownfield site.

But two years later, the group is still looking to attract its first tenant.

That's why the group is hopeful that a $3 million Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant recently announced by the state will help take that goal over the top.

Mon River Partners completed purchase of the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel plant on Feb. 24, 2012.

The group paid $6 million in cash. Including improvements to the site, the partners have invested more than $8 million to date, said Michelle Herron, chief executive officer for Mon River Industrial Group.

That work has included general building cleanup, improvements to the security station, and rail track and roadway repairs. “In spite of substantial cost to acquire the property and improve it, we have no building tenants to date,” said Herron.

Herron said the buildings are in “definite need of repair.” She said prospective tenants who look at the site then look at the buildings and determine they would be paying for the deteriorating buildings.

The group must still complete some additional steps – including providing matching funds – to secure the loan. Herron said the group is hopeful that the substantial investment already made in the plant will qualify for that match.

The grant would fund building and infrastructure improvements, including the loading docks, rail, roadway and lighting improvements.

The group's initial grant application was for $6.2 million.

Because prospective tenants are looking to design the buildings to their specific needs, Herron said she is unsure what it will cost to upgrade all of the buildings.

“We absolutely anticipated that we would have building tenants in place, and the broker as well as Mon River has shown buildings to an abundant number of prospective tenants,” Herron said.

Asked if there is optimism that the first tenant or tenants will move in during 2014, Herron said, “Everyone hopes that at the beginning of the year.”

“We certainly put a lot of money, time and energy into the project in hopes of returning jobs to the Mon Valley,” Herron said.

Herron said the potential for job creation at the site “depends on tenant mix.

“But we certainly hope to create thousands of job opportunities,” Herron said.

Herron said hopefully the $3 million grant will get the group closer to attracting the first tenant because it will fund improvements to the buildings.

“We remain excited about the project and after our two years of time, energy and investment, we hope to see new tenants soon,” Herron said.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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.