BP Business Owners Association aims to improve Industrial Park

Published May 1, 2013 at 11:28 am (Updated May 1, 2013 at 11:28 am)

It’s about neighbors getting to know each other and working together toward common goals, said Tom Diener, president of the newly-formed Bethel Park Business Owners’ Association.

Diener, managing partner of Ameri-Source Specialty Products located in the Bethel Park Industrial Park, is one of the founders of the association, which was formed to address the issues of park business owners, as well as to promote business in the municipality.

“Our mission is to guide this park in the direction the owners would like it to go,” Diener said. “We can be more effective as a group.”

There are more than 120 business owners and more than 500 employees of the 140-acre industrial park, which is located at the intersection of South Park Road and Industrial Boulevard.

According to David Carr, coordinator and communications director for the association, the park ranks 12th in size among the area’s top 25 office and industrial parks. It is also one of the oldest, developed in the late 1940s by Dr. McNary, a veterinarian from Castle Shannon. At that time, it was undeveloped property bordered by deep shaft coal mines and railroad properties, said Carr. Over the years, McNary sporadically cleared and sold off parcels.

“There was no master plan and it is a bit of an eyesore,” admitted Diener. He added that one of the goals of the association is to work with the municipality to upgrade without a lot of expensive renovations.

In 2005, the municipality published a professional engineering, planning and design study, which addressed many of the park’s current issues and deficiencies with recommended corrective actions, said Carr. However, he added, “there was little follow-up by either the municipality or other parties.”

Today, the park consists of a mix of non-polluting, environmentally-friendly companies, which include light manufacturing, distribution, machining, vehicle repair, moving/storage, entertainment, medical and construction/renovation firms. In addition, the park is home to Tri-Community South Emergency Medical Services, Bethel Park School District Transportation Division and the offices of UPMC Greater Pittsburgh Ob/Gyn Center.

“There is quiet a variety of service in this little industrial park,” Diener said. “We’re a little bit of a diamond in the rough for Bethel Park.”

The park is zoned “C-2” general commercial district and “M” manufacturing, light industrial district.

Park business owners said the park provides a substantial tax base, employment center and is an economic generator for the community.

“We want to make the park – and Bethel Park – more business-friendly,” Diener said. “We want to maintain, protect and grow our business here in the park and eventually help the 300-plus other businesses in Bethel Park.”

Association meetings are normally held at noon on the first Monday of the month at 3000 Industrial Boulevard. All park business owners and interested individuals are invited to attend. The annual association membership, which includes voting rights, is $100.

Diener said the concerns of park business owners include the quality of the electrical power in the park and the traffic gridlock, which occurs during the times school buses leave to pick up students. They are hoping municipal officials will work with them to solve those problems along with the zoning issues.

“Tim Moury (council president) has been most supportive,” Diener said. “We need the help of the municipality.”

Along with meetings with Bethel Park officials and police, association members are planning events, such as a document shredding event scheduled for May 18, and future computer recycling events. Association members would also like to create a website, a printed directory and a directory map. In addition, they hope to be involved in business networking, trade shows as well as business and technical training.

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