County OKs $1.5 million grant for Starpointe project

May 16, 2013
Gov. Tom Corbett speaks to a large crowd during groundbreaking ceremonies last year for Hormann-Flexon at Starpointe industrial park in Hanover Township. In the background are, from left, Dan Reitz, decutive director of Washington County Council on Economic Development, state Rep. Jesse White, Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi and state Sen. Tim Solobay. Starpointe has received a state grant to complete the current phase of the business park. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

A brownfield is getting a lot of green in Starpointe Business Park.

The Washington County Council of Economic Development has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the state for Phase 1B of the Hanover Township business park.

WCCED, developer of the park, requested the funds last year from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The money will be used to complete earthwork, remediation and infrastructure of this phase. No county funding was required.

The county commissioners Thursday gave final approval to the funding by a 3-0 vote.

“As always, we are thrilled by the level of support the commissioners have shown for (Starpointe projects). They’ve been very, very helpful in making it all happen,” said Dan Reitz, executive director of the WCCED.

The $13.5 million Phase 1B project is the largest brownfield being developed in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The 237-acre site was scarred by strip mining from the 1930s to 1980s, and in 2006 was one of the first areas in the region to be declared a Brownfield Action Team site by the Department of Environmental Protection.

Phase I of the park is dedicated to manufacturing, offices and distribution companies. WCCED’s intent with the Phase 1B project is to provide space to attract manufacturing firms. The parcels there, 11 to 39 acres, will be larger than ones in the previous phase, 1A.

The first 11-acre parcel there is the site of a 68,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for Hörmann Flexon, a German-based manufacturer of commercial and industrial garage doors.

The company began construction last summer and expects to complete the first phase of a planned three-phase plant by this summer.

The completion of infrastructure will be the costliest endeavor in Phase 1B. It includes paving, installation of phone, water and electrical lines, and construction of sidewalks and curbs.

There are no roads connecting Phase 1B to the remainder of the park via Starpointe Boulevard.

WCCED estimates that the Phase 1B project will result in 500-plus jobs.

Half of the sites in the first phase of the Starpointe project have been developed with an average of nearly five jobs per acre, and an average hourly wage of $17.47.

When completed, Starpointe will be a 1,100-acre mixed-use park off Route 18 and is expected to ultimately provide 6,000 jobs. It is near Route 22, and when the Findlay Connector is finished, Starpointe will be about a 10-minute drive from Pittsburgh International Airport.

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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