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Valley News Dispatch

Harrison approves plans for new First Commonwealth Bank at Highlands Mall

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 4:48 p.m.
An artist’s rendering of a new First Commonwealth Bank planned to be built at Highlands Mall in Harrison.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
An artist’s rendering of a new First Commonwealth Bank planned to be built at Highlands Mall in Harrison.
First Commonwealth Bank in Harrison on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
First Commonwealth Bank in Harrison on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.
Harrison officials have approved the construction of a new First Commonwealth Bank on this now-vacant parcel next to Tractor Supply Co. at the Highlands Mall on Freeport Road.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Harrison officials have approved the construction of a new First Commonwealth Bank on this now-vacant parcel next to Tractor Supply Co. at the Highlands Mall on Freeport Road.
A diagram shows where a new First Commonwealth Bank will be built at Highlands Mall on Freeport Road in Harrison. The township's planning commission approved the development on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
A diagram shows where a new First Commonwealth Bank will be built at Highlands Mall on Freeport Road in Harrison. The township's planning commission approved the development on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.

A Harrison bank is planning a move up Freeport Road to the Highlands Mall.

First Commonwealth Bank plans to put up a new building at 4015 Freeport Road. The grass-covered parcel at the northern most end of the property is in front of Walmart and between Tractor Supply Co. and an entry and exit drive to the shopping plaza.

The bank currently has a location in Harrison Town Square. Township Commissioner Charles Dizard said his understanding is that the existing bank would be closed.

First Commonwealth spokesman Jonathan Longwill declined to comment on the project Wednesday.

“At First Commonwealth Bank we are continually looking to improve customer access and to that end negotiations are ongoing, but there is no finalized deal in place and thus we are unable to provide any further comment at this time,” Longwill said.

Walmart Stores East currently owns the 0.77 acres where the new bank would be built. There is a signed sales agreement between Walmart and First Commonwealth, according to the project’s plans filed with the township.

Walmart bought the property for about $70,000 in 2006 and is still the listed owner. It is now valued at about $252,000, according to Allegheny County real estate records.

The township’s planning commission has unanimously approved the land development. The site is zoned for business, and a financial institution is a permitted use there.

According to the plans, the project would see a single-story, 2,274 square foot building built at the site. There would be 12 parking spaces, more than the seven that township regulations require.

The plans appear to show drive-through lanes.

Access to the bank would be from within the shopping center’s parking lot. Plans do not show any entry or exit directly to or from the bank on Freeport Road.

Dizard said the bank plans to start construction in the spring.

Headquartered in Indiana, Pa., First Commonwealth was founded in 1982 from the merger of multiple community banks throughout Western Pennsylvania. It has locations in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The loss of the bank would be another blow for Harrison Town Square, formerly Heights Plaza. An Allegheny County judge recently named Pretium Property Management of White plains, N.Y. to run the property and put it up for sale after its owner, Wild Blue Management, defaulted on its mortgage.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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