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Murrysville council approves Blue Spruce development

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
 

If things go according to plan, 2013 will bring a coffee shop, specialty burgers, top-of-the-line wine and spirits, and new development to Murrysville. And given the amount of interest the project received this year, it made the cut as one of the biggest local stories of 2012

After more than a year of discussions and negotiations, Murrysville Council last week approved plans for the Blue Spruce Shoppes, a 45,648-foot retail and mixed-use development along Route 22 near the Monroeville border. Conceived by developer Herky Pollock, the Blue Spruce Shoppes will feature several restaurants — including Burgatory, North Park Clubhouse, Moe's Southwest Grill and Starbucks; a bank; an early childhood education center; a medical office; and one of the state Liquor Control Board's new Wine & Spirits stores.

“We are elated that we have received full approvals from the Municipality of Murrysville and financing that will allow us to break ground in January,” Pollock said. “Blue Spruce Shoppes has exceeded our wildest expectations, and we are fortunate to have such an incredible community who has embraced us with open arms.”

The more than $15 million development will be built on the site of the former Blue Spruce Motel and pool. Since late 2011, developers have worked with Murrysville officials on the three-building complex.

It has been a bumpy road for the project. Council members were concerned about everything from lighting to the aesthetics of the buildings to its impact on traffic. Months of negotiating with the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Westmoreland County Conservation District enabled developers to build closer to a stream next to the property than regulations allowed.

Officials nearly are prepared to sell Banner Parklet, a green space owned by the municipality that is vital to ensuring there is enough parking and green space in the development. A last-minute agreement with Bill Ramaley potentially saved negotiations with the Liquor Control Board, Pollock said. After officials balked at the idea of the LCB backing a large delivery truck across Old William Penn Highway once a week for deliveries, Pollock presented a plan where the truck would turn around in a lot owned by Ramaley.

Pollock said he expects to break ground on the project in January and hopes to have the complex open by November.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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