Demolition begins on Star City Cinemas
Nearly 15 months after South Fayette Township commissioners approved selling the former Star City Cinemas property to Horizon Properties Group, demolition began to remove the structure that will eventually clear the way for other retail development near the Bridgeville exit of Interstate 79.
Workers of Ritenour & Sons Construction, which was awarded the demolition contract by South Fayette commissioners in October at a base bid of $227,450, started internal demolition earlier in December and began tearing down the exterior of the building Jan. 4.
A 2013 land sales agreement between the township and UPMC – prior to opening its new facility on Route 50 – stated it wanted the abandoned building to either be converted or taken down. The agreement also states that a minimum of half of the building’s assessed value would be taxable to the township and school district.
“We want to get it done to beautify the area,” community development director Andrea Iglar said about the demolition project that will be completed by the end of March at the latest. “We want to make sure that it was prepared for when redevelopment does occur.”
Horizon Properties was recently granted an extension request to complete due diligence on the property, which was agreed to be sold for $5 million to the Cecil-based company. The extension period now lasts until March, where further action could be taken towards a final sales agreement or another postponement if more time is needed to evaluate the property, which once was considered to be a possible landing spot for municipal facilities.
“There was a desire from the board to return that main corridor of our commercial stretch onto the tax rolls,” township manager Ryan Eggleston said months ago about the decision. “Horizon and their approach moving forward with tax-producing developments of that site was a big part.”
According to a township staff’s estimate, Horizon’s inclusion of another hotel, restaurants, retail stores and offices would generate at least $25 million of new taxable commercial property.