Westmoreland development corp. acquires 110 acres near casino

Friday 27th November 2020

The potential for 110 vacant acres in Hempfield and Unity is big given its proximity to the newly-opened Live! Casino Pittsburgh inside Westmoreland Mall, according to Jason Rigone, director of the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp.

"We're excited for that region of the county," he said.

The Westmoreland County commissioners this week approved the sale of 110 acres off Georges Station Road for $2.5 million to the industrial development corporation. The property, which is adjacent to Westmoreland County Industrial Park I, could be the future home of including office, manufacturing and residential space, Rigone said.

The deal has been in the works for months, according to Commissioner Gina Cerilli. An appraisal called in March for the corporation to pay $2.4 million, but that price tag was increased after factoring in the $80,000 worth of timber on the county's old farming property, according to Commissioner Sean Kertes.

The appraisal was completed by a neutral party, said Commissioner Doug Chew.

"We're not timbering the property at this point," Rigone said.

The development plans haven't fully come together yet, in part because it is unclear what type of office space will be needed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, he said. There has been an increase in remote work and could be a need for larger floor plans to allow for social distancing.

"We are being patient trying to understand what the office dynamic may be looking forward," Rigone said.

The income will be put into the county's general fund, Kertes said. In March, officials said the funds would be put toward unexpected costs from earlier this year, such as equipment failures at the county jail and a bacterial outbreak at the county-owned nursing home.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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