Marshall planners vote for OK of 100-unit upscale townhouses, retail site
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
A 100-unit, upscale townhouse and retail development planned for Marshall is part of the booming residential growth taking place in the once rural township.
Township and real estate representatives attribute the growth to Marshall's easy access to Interstate 79, the attractiveness of the North Allegheny School District and the availability of land for housing in the quiet suburb north of Pittsburgh.
“It's a beautiful place to live,” said Nicole Zimsky, Marshall's planning director.
Planning commission members Ron Baling, Todd Shaffer, Larry Payne and Kim Herbert voted on Tuesday to recommend that the Board of Supervisors grant preliminary approval of a subdivision plan and conditional-use permit for Fairmont Square, which would have 100 upscale townhouses and 15,000 to 22,500 square feet of retail space.
Three commission members were absent.
South Fayette-based Rolling Lambert Building Co. would be the developer. The land fronts Route 19, and there would be an entrance from the four-lane road to the development.
Construction of the retail portion would be driven by demand, said Steven Victor, a landscape architect at Victor-Wetzel Associates who presented the revised plan.
If the plan receives the supervisors' final approval, construction of the townhouses would start in fall 2014, he said.
Population growth in Marshall is spurring the need for new housing, officials said.
Between 2000 and 2012, Marshall's population increased an estimated 21 percent to 7,255 residents, according to Census Bureau data.
“It's a desirable place to live whether you're a homeowner or a renter,” said Daniel A. Murrer, vice president of RealSTATs, a South Side-based real estate information company.
The median sales price of all homes — new and previously owned — this year through Oct. 27 was $286,000 in Marshall, compared to $177,000 across northern Allegheny County, according to RealSTATs.
Other residential projects on the way are the Park at Marshall, a 125-unit rental townhouse development that Celtic Capital plans to build at the end of Northgate Drive, which would connect to Route 19, Zimsky said.
The planning commission has recommended approval of the plan, which will go before the supervisors on Nov. 11, she said.
In addition, Cleveland-based NRP Group LLC is expected to break ground soon on Warrendale Pointe, a 319-unit apartment complex at Wheatland and Warrendale-Bayne roads, she said.
Pleasant Hill Place, 16 single-family homes that Infinity Custom Homes plans to build near the intersection of Pleasant Hill and Knob roads, will be presented to the planning commission in December, she said.
What has been slower to take off in Marshall is commercial construction.
About 93 acres are available in Innovation Ridge, a business park that is owned by the Regional Industrial Development Corp. Ryan Homes is developing a townhouse project, the Village at Marshall Ridge, on 14.5 acres in the park, but it's been a challenge to attract commercial development during the slow economy, RIDC President Don Smith said.
Smith expects that to change because the growing workforce in Marshall is going to be a key driver for setting up company headquarters, research and development facilities and technology companies.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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