McCandless OKs change allowing personal care home where Wal-Mart wanted supercenter |
North Hills

McCandless OKs change allowing personal care home where Wal-Mart wanted supercenter

Tony LaRussa
This rendering of the 23-acre site along Blazier Drive in McCandless showing a mix of retail shops, cottages and a three-story main building dedicated to senior housing that has been proposed for the site by Development Continental Real Estate Co. Town council approved zoning changes on April 22, 2019 that allow a personal care home to operate on the site, which is part of the developer’s proposal.

McCandless council has altered the zoning requirements for the land along Blazier Drive where Wal-Mart wanted to build a supercenter several years ago so the property can be redeveloped more easily.

Council voted unanimously April 22 to amending the 23-acre commercial property’s zoning to allow a personal care home to operate on the site, which is part of the mixed-used development that has been proposed.

In addition to Trader Horn, which abandoned the site in 2014, the property between Blazier’s intersections with Ingomar Road and McKnight Road once contained a Bally Total Fitness, Sun Books and a beer outlet.

The zoning changes that were approved address lot size; the size of front, side and rear yards for residential properties; buffer zones; the density or number of residential properties that can be built; the maximum footprint and height of buildings; and the amount of greenspace that must be set aside in a development.

A draft copy of the new ordinance is available online. It begins on Page 36 of the agenda.

Continental Real Estate Co. wants to build a mixed-use development on the property around a central green surrounded by retail shops, cottages and a three-story main building dedicated to senior housing, including a personal care home.

The company has not yet submitted a site plan to the town for review.

Continental is teaming up with Selma, N.C.-based AdVenture Development, which would handle the retail portion of the project.

AdVenture developed the McCandless Crossing shopping center on McKnight Road. The Waterfront shopping center in Homestead was developed by Continental, which is based in Columbus, Ohio.

The mixed-use approach of blending shops, offices and housing on a single site similar to McCandless Crossing — and now the Blazier Drive project being proposed — is a popular trend that can help improve a project’s chances for success by putting residents within walking distance of shops, restaurants and offices are desirable for both older and younger people.

In December 2016, Wal-Mart nixed plans to build a 155,000-square-foot supercenter on the site. The announcement came a week after Giant Eagle Corp. purchased a portion of the site where Wal-Mart planned to build.

The acquisition of about 7 acres by grocery chain reduced the amount of property on which Wal-Mart could conceivably build to about 16 acres, according to McCandless officials.

Giant Eagle has not announced any decisions about when or how its portion of the property might be developed. But officials have said that anything it does likely would include cooperation with adjacent property owners.

Continental’s proposed development does not include the 26.72-acre property along Blazier where the vacant Rave Cinema building is located.

In 2015, McCandless tried to buy that land, which is in a flood plain, and turn it into a natural wetlands park.

But town officials said the cost of obtaining the land and tearing down the theater were considered too expensive.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | North Hills
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