Developer begins work on Hastings project in South Fayette
When Charter Homes and Neighborhoods received the demolition permit to cleanup of the former Mayview State Hospital site, it didn’t take long for the centrally based Pennsylvania company to begin the process.
Crews began the complicated process of recycling an estimated 300,000 tons of demolition material left on the site after South Fayette Township commissioners approved the preliminary master plan Aug. 10, reclaiming and repurposing usable material as infrastructure for the new neighborhood named Hastings.
Its name was taken from a nearby homestead that once served as a train station along Chartiers Creek, Hastings will contain 572 residential units, parks, walking trails, gathering places and an area for local businesses that best fit in the neighborhood.
Those businesses will specifically be announced when they are secured by the developer.
“It’s not so much a specific business but what that business provides,” said Rob Bowman, chief executive officer and president of Charter. “We want small, local businesses in a friendly environment. The people that are attracted to a neighborhood like Hastings come from all age groups and situations. Given that, we have a great opportunity to bring in people at different stages of life. We have a variety of options allowing us to create.”
Charter has worked its way into the Pittsburgh suburbs with more than 1,200 home sites in Sewickley, Mt. Lebanon, Cranberry and Peters Township, providing single-family residences and also other different living options, something unfamiliar in most of the areas.
“We’ve been doing business in our same footprint for over the last 25 years,” said Bowman. “When we find land and leadership at the municipal level where they want to rethink the suburban model we are eager to do it. We know what we’re doing, work really hard and make a positive impact in both the long- and short-term.”
The number of units in the $200 million transformation project, which is expected have housing available in 2017, was decreased after South Fayette School District officials expressed concern over an even more overwhelming influx of potential students.
The construction of the Hastings neighborhood is estimated to generate approximately 1,300 jobs, adding $90 million in wages and salaries and allowing Allegheny County to collect more than $750,000 in annual property tax revenue, according a an economic study done instituted by Charter.
“We have been impressed with their responsiveness to our comments and suggestions during the planning and approval process and believe we have found a first-class partner that understands the historical significance and natural beauty of the property,” said township manager Ryan Eggleston. “We expect the project to enhance the community and create jobs and tax revenue for South Fayette Township.”
One question that continues to be discussed among township, Charter and state Department of Transportation officials is the impact on traffic, which already is subjected to congestion.
The township will use a $381,000 state grant for traffic calming at various intersections near the I-79 interchange.
The entire Hastings project is expected to be completed over the next five to 10 years.