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Crews level 46 Armstrong County acres with goal of attracting businesses

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 1:11 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Dave Rugg ,of SCI Excavating and Environmental Services, works a seeder machine on Tuesday over land cleared at Northpointe. Tuesday July 23,2013

Armstrong County officials hope to make four parcels of land more attractive to potential developers at the Northpointe business park in the Slate Lick area of North Buffalo and South Buffalo townships.

Crews began leveling 46 acres of hill-covered land into four developable lots in May, with the goal of attracting new businesses, according to Mike Coonley, executive director of the Armstrong County Department of Economic Development.

“It's a large portion of Northpointe, where the infrastructure is in place, but the topography is still rolling,” he said. “This will create 20-acre, 12-acre, eight-acre and six-acre table-top flat pads, which are ready for builders.”

Coonley said it will cost $2.6 million to prepare the sites, which will be funded through the Armstrong County Industrial Development Authority.

Officials expect to complete the project by the end of August, followed by a marketing campaign, he added.

“When companies move, they don't want to spend six months to a year getting permitting and grading work done,” Coonley said. “The idea is to bring in some higher-quality companies, which will help generate good employment opportunities.

“This has been a good investment we're hoping to capitalize on.” Coonley did not discuss possible prices for each of the sites.

Rich Fink, a Democratic Armstrong County Commissioner, said pad-ready sites could be what Northpointe needs to attract more businesses. He said the sites' undeveloped topography and need for grading could have discouraged developers from choosing Northpointe.

Fink said he believes Northpointe could become a very profitable and quickly developing area for Armstrong County. He likened Northpointe to Cranberry Township and Southpointe in Cecil Township.

“I envision Northpointe being marketed to firms that will supply real, family-sustaining jobs,” Fink said. “That's what we need in Armstrong County.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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