Pine medical mall offers variety of services under one roof
By Deborah Deasy
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Highmark, the health insurance giant, recently got approval to build a 174,300-square-foot medical mecca next to North Way Christian Community on Route 19 in Pine.
Pine supervisors unanimously voted Jan. 7 to approve land development plans for the Wexford Medical Mall, a one-stop center for everything from diagnostic tests to disease treatments, with more than 700 parking spaces.
“We anticipate completion by the summer of 2014,” said Alex Sciulli, executive vice president and chief real estate development and construction officer for Highmark.
The mall — a two-story, U-shaped building — will incorporate a lot of picture windows in an exterior combining aluminum panels, glass and stone, according to Jeff Young, senior project manager at Astorino, an architectural firm in downtown Pittsburgh.
“It's a wonderful idea. It's going to save people a lot of trips,” Pine supervisor Edward Owen said about the Highmark facility.
At the supervisors' Jan. 7 meeting, Owen wanted to know, however, how the proposed medical mall might affect parking for car cruises held Friday nights during warm months at North Way Christian Community.
“We're going to cooperate with the church,” said Sciulli.
Highmark plans to build its taxable Wexford Medical Mall on seven of 15 acres purchased from tax-exempt North Way Christian Community.
The mall will incorporate a medical clinic and offices, retail sales and services, plus, an outdoor courtyard, according to Larry Kurpakus, director of code administration and land development for Pine Township.
Pine supervisors approved the mall's land development plans on several conditions related to the management of storm water and soil erosion, plus, traffic improvements. The supervisors also mandated a post-construction study to assess the medical mall's impact on local traffic.
The supervisors waived, however, a township rule that prohibits building exteriors made of rolled steel. Highmark plans to use textured, metal panels on the mall's exterior.
The supervisors also waived a township rule requiring islands of greenery in parking lots because some of the medical mall's parking spaces will be underground.
Pine Township issued Highmark a grading permit on Jan. 8 for bulldozers to begin preparing the Wexford Medical Mall site for construction.
“They have not filed their building permit application for actual construction of the building, but I expect that be coming in the next several weeks,” said Kurpakus.
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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