North Strabane business projects include new hotel, remodler expansion and retailer move

January 17, 2013

The ever-changing landscape of North Strabane includes a hockey equipment store making a shift change and construction of a short-stay motel.

KO Sports will soon move from one spot in the township to another, and work has begun on a Holiday Inn Express off that hotel haven, Racetrack Road.

Bath Fitter, one of the largest bathroom remodelers in Western Pennsylvania, also may be moving into an existing building there, although that could not be confirmed by township Manager Frank Siffrinn.

A news release announcing that Bath Fitter acquired Cabinet World in December states that the company will be opening a showroom in Canonsburg. A spokeswoman said the address is 2500 Washington Road, which is in North Strabane. Bath Fitter has two other showrooms in Western Pennsylvania – in Cranberry, Butler County, and Center Township, Beaver County, where it is headquartered.

Speaking of Washington Road, the former Roomful Express will soon be a roomful of hockey gear. KO Sports is moving there from Old Pike Street, where it is a mere slapshot from the Canonsburg Borough line. It opened there in 1996 and deals in ice, inline and street hockey equipment, jerseys, National Hockey League apparel and other items.”

Curt Koman, the owner, purchased the former furniture store. He is renovating the interior, and following an occupancy inspection in the next few days, he said he hopes to open in early February. “We might be able to pull that off.”

His business will have a lot more space, about 25,000 square feet – and could use it. “We’re extremely squeezed now,” said Koman, who currently operates from a storefront and a cluster of four old, adjacent houses. “We’re in the process of disposing of that property.”

He said his grandfather started a locksmithing business there in the 1920s that operated for many decades. It endured a flood in the late 1990s, after the hockey venture took root.

Koman said KO Sports will require “at least 16,000” square feet, but he will not need all 25,000, so he is seeking a tenant.

Later this year, the Holiday Inn Express will be seeking and catering to guests. Construction began about a month ago on an 87-room motel, which will offer few frills at a modest cost just inside the entrance to Meadowlands Business Park.

A November or December opening is likely, said Jerry Hamerski, spokesman for Double J Development of Morgantown, W.Va., which is in charge of the project.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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