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Crimson Pointe developer looking at new land

| Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

The developer of the Crimson Pointe housing plan in Manor might buy the undeveloped lots in the The Woods of Brandywine plan at sheriff's sale. But first, he'd like to hear what the borough planning commission has to say about his plans to build either patio homes or single-family houses on the land.

Kevin Braun, the owner of Patriot Homes USA, has asked that the planning commission on Jan. 10 review his plans for the undeveloped land owned by financially troubled Jana Development, Manor planning director Ed Howley said.

AmeriServ Financial initiated a foreclosure proceeding against Jana last July for $543,991, which is the judgment amount Westmoreland County officials have listed for the March 4 sheriff's sale. Jana had filed for bankruptcy in federal court, but a judge dismissed the case last June because the company failed to submit a reorganization plan.

Howley said Braun wants the commission to comment about how he would have to prepare for a potential project if he is able to buy the properties. Braun submitted a proposal to build either 70 single-family homes or 29 patio homes on the 26 undeveloped acres near the southern section of Brandywine Drive.

Council would have to approve a special exception for construction of two- and four-unit patio homes, Howley said. Patio homes typically are one-story homes that share at least one side wall.

According to what Braun has provided, all of the proposed homes would be individually owned, not rented, Howley said.

“What he's done up at Crimson is exceptional,” Howley said. “I think it would be an asset for the borough if Patriot would pick up phase five” of the development of the Brandywine neighborhood.

Braun did not return a message requesting comment.

Council has said Jana is in default of a developer's agreement for the housing plan.

Last month, borough officials directed Solicitor John Campfield to seek the release of a $174,000 line of credit so the borough can complete infrastructure there.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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