Plans for 162-acre development off Route 28 a ‘go,’ developer says |
Valley News Dispatch

Plans for 162-acre development off Route 28 a ‘go,’ developer says

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
Trees were cleared more than two years ago from a hillside near the Route 28 Tarentum interchange in Harrison for a proposed development project. The photo from Tuesday, July 23, 2019, shows the area where development is planned.
Harrison Point Transportation Impact Study | PennDOT
The proposed site plan for the Harrison Point development in Harrison.
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A hillside with cut trees is shown off Bull Creek Road in Harrison on Wednesday March 29, 2017.
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A view of cut trees in the Jobe’s Hole area of Harrison shown Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
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Loggers climb through a cluster of fallen trees off Route 28 in Harrison on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
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Trees were cut from a hillside in Harrison to prevent bats from nesting because construction is planned there. The area is shown on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
File photo
Trees were cut from a hillside in Harrison to prevent bats from nesting because construction is planned there. The area is shown on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

Plans to develop 162 acres near the Tarentum interchange along Route 28 are moving forward, according to a consultant on the project.

Nothing has been built on the Harrison site known as Jobe’s Hole since trees were cleared from it more than two years ago to protect an endangered species of bats that would otherwise nest there.

Brian Clark, a consultant for R&Z Harrison Properties, said the developers hope to complete preconstruction work soon.

“We’d like to break ground and start construction later this year,” Clark said.

According to a transportation impact study filed with PennDOT, the development known as Harrison Point would include a 100-acre township park; 249 residential units for senior independent living; 100,000 square feet of medical office space; a 62,000-square-foot technology park; nearly 23,000 square feet of restaurant space; a grocery store; and a gas station with a convenience store.

“We have tenants that want to be there,” Clark said.

Traffic patterns on Bull Creek Road will need to change to accommodate access to the site, primarily by Pleasant Road but also by Pleasantville Road.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said the agency approved the traffic impact study in April 2017. The study outlines all of the improvements that will be necessary to handle the anticipated increase in traffic generated by the development.

“We did receive some additional items in early 2018, but have yet to receive the actual (highway occupancy permit) plan submission for review,” Cowan said.

Clark said developers have acquired all of the property needed for the development. Houses on the proposed development have been razed. One was made available to area firefighters last year for training.

Harrison supports the project, township commissioners Chairman Bill Heasley said.

“We’re looking forward to some economic growth,” he said, adding that the developers also proposed rejuvenating the Silver Lake recreation area. “The township is very much in favor of it.”

Heasley said he thought the project would proceed more quickly, but he has no concerns that construction isn’t already under way.

“We knew it wouldn’t be anything that would happen overnight,” he said. “They ran into some stumbling blocks getting permits and had to make some adjustments to their plans.”

After years of no visible activity since the trees were removed, Clark said developers are eager to start construction this year.

“Believe me, we’ve been through a real process here,” he said. “The sooner we can get in development, the better it is for everybody.”

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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