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Speedway said to be eying Route 130

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A Midwestern gas-station chain might build a new station along Route 130 in Penn Township.

Engineers for Speedway have been doing soil-boring tests on property near the Pleasant Valley Road intersection as they prepare for a hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission, township community-development director Dallas Leonard said.

“They want to get in there as soon as possible,” Leonard said.

A new gas station — or other retail opportunity — could be the beginning of new development along that corridor near the Rite Aid drug store, township officials said.

TCMZT Realty Group owns the 4-acre, commercially zoned property on the north side of Route 130 where Speedway representatives are testing. A parcel of land separates that lot and the Rite Aid.

An official for real-estate company Avison Young, which is marketing the property, said there is a sales agreement, but he declined to identify the buyer. However, he confirmed he has spoken with a variety of national chains that are interested in developing a convenience store, restaurant or retail stores there.

TCMZT also has 14 acres for sale behind the property along Route 130.

“It's exciting,” said Jim Kelly, a principal and senior vice president for Avison Young's Pittsburgh office. “Hopefully, we'll get some of these things put together, and it'll be part of a bigger development.”

Ohio-based Speedway now operates in nine states after pushing into Pennsylvania and Tennessee this year. Sunoco stations in Murrysville, Monroeville and the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh were converted into Speedways in recent months.

Speedway also is trying to build new stations in Unity Township, New Stanton, Delmont and Oakmont.

Brandon Daniels, a spokesman for Marathon Petroleum, Speedway's parent company, said the gas-station chain is evaluating new markets in Pennsylvania, but he declined comment about a possible Penn Township site.

If a Speedway project moves forward, it would be the first new development in that area since the construction of the new bridge over the Pennsylvania Turnpike last year.

Township officials have been hoping the $6.4-million project to widen the bridge would entice businesses to that area on top of the benefit of easing some rush-hour traffic jams.

Commissioner Chuck Horvat, who is retiring after four terms, said the officials have been trying to promote that area for business development for more than a decade.

Meanwhile, Charleroi Federal Savings Bank officials are continuing to evaluate their options for building a branch between the Rite Aid and the TCMZT property, bank president and CEO Neil D. Bassi said.

The bank bought the land in the early 2000s, but officials have no strict timeline for construction, he said.

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