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South Fayette seeks movement on development of former Star City Cinema property

| Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, 11:56 p.m.

South Fayette's plans to turn the former Star City Cinema into a civic center have stalled for five years, so officials plan to seek proposals from developers interested in a ground lease of the property.

At its meeting Wednesday, the board of commissioners authorized staff and the solicitor to prepare a request for proposals. The board plans to vote on advertising the request for proposals in September and review the submissions in October.

With a ground lease, the mostly likely scenario would be for a developer to demolish the 80,000-square-foot theater, build something to replace it and pay the township to use the land, South Fayette Manager Ryan Eggleston said. The project would be taxable, and the revenue would be used to build and/or operate a civic center on other property the township owns, Eggleston said.

The township bought the 15-acre former theater parcel on Hickory Grade Road in 2009 from Shelby Corp. for $5 million with the intention of turning it into a civic center that would hold administrative offices, the police station, library and community and senior citizens centers. The project has stalled because of insufficient money to both develop it and operate it, township officials have said.

The township has sold some of the land but it still owns about 8.5 acres.

In other business, the board voted, with three in favor and Deron Gabriel abstaining, to appoint Dr. Ray Pitetti to fulfill the term on a seat left vacant by Todd Miller, who resigned in July. Miller's term was to end Dec. 31, 2015.

The board also voted 4-0 to make permanent the jobs of acting police Chief John Phoennik and acting Public Works Director Butch Truitt.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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