The Oakmont Community Foundation wants to turn an old, vacant gas station into a parking lot.
The foundation is a nonprofit formed by the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber member Dan Monaco, owner of Hoffstot’s Cafe Monaco and Chelsea Grille, presented the project to borough officials at a recent council meeting.
The property in question is a former Exxon station at 507 Allegheny Ave. that has been closed for more than seven years and currently is owned by Dunne Manning Realty of Allentown.
“It’s an eyesore,” Monaco said. “What we’d like to do with that is turn it into a parking lot. I know my businesses are right down there, but this piece of property could be used for the betterment of the town. It certainly would make a great improvement to the site as it is now.”
Monaco said plans are in the early stages, and the foundation has applied for grants to purchase and develop the property.
No architectural drawings of the lot have been done. It was unclear how many spaces it would have. The lot would become borough property once completed.
Grants listed in Monaco’s presentation included $250,000 from the Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund and $250,000 from the Gaming Economic Development Fund through the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, and a possible contribution from the state’s Multimodal Transportation Fund.
Monaco said the tourism and economic development grants would serve as matching funds for the multimodal grant. Total project costs are estimated at $1.6 million.
“We have all the applications pretty much already in the pipeline,” Monaco said. “We’re having meetings right now with representatives.”
He hopes to gather support from state Rep. Frank Dermody, D-Oakmont, and state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills.
Council members unanimously voted Monday to send a letter of support to the foundation for their project.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Councilman Tim Favo said.
The gas station property was purchased in 2017 by Dunne Manning Realty for $600,000. The foundation recently offered to buy it for $500,000 and is awaiting a counter offer.