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Assisted living facility, apartments for seniors proposed in Richland

| Tuesday, March 8, 2016, 3:18 p.m.

A New York firm wants to put an assisted living facility and apartments for seniors on Richland property once owned by the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Co.

Representatives of 4137 Bakerstown Road LLC — part of Westchester County-based Enclave Equities — propose to build the facilities in an area of Richland zoned “neighborhood commercial,” where such projects are permitted as “special exceptions,” only by approval of the Richland Township Zoning Hearing Board.

The board will consider Enclave Equities' application for that approval during a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 15 in the Richland Municipal Building.

The proposed 96-unit assisted living facility and 100-unit apartment building are part of Enclave Equities' long-range plans for about 180 acres along Bakerstown Road.

Enclave Equities plans to put the assisted living facility and apartment building on the north side of Bakerstown Road.

The firm also plans to put 200 homes, including a Traditions of America retirement community, on the south side of Bakerstown Road.

“The plan is to build everything at the same time,” said Sam Mermelstein, Enclave Equities' vice president for development.

Mermelstein said the firm would like to break ground as soon as possible for the proposed plans of dwellings for multiple age groups.

“This is a project Richland Township and the area really needs,” Mermelstein said.

“The comprehensive plan that the township did 10 years ago showed this type of project is what the township needs, especially with an aging population.”

In January, representatives of 4137 Bakerstown Road LLC presented Enclave Equities' land development plans for the site to the Richland Township Planning Commission.

Since then, the planning commission has tabled a decision on whether to recommend approval of those development plans, pending possible revisions.

Mermelstein said it cost between $3 million and $4 million to clean up asbestos contamination on the former Pittsburgh Cut Flower Co. property after vandals broke into greenhouses on the land and disturbed insulation around water pipes in the greenhouses.

In early 2013, Mid-Atlantic Environmental Consultants began coordinating contractors hired to clean up the property.

“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) gave us a sign-off,” Mermelstein said.

“We have a letter from the EPA saying that we did a good job.”

Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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