Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Ground was broken today for a new neighborhood in Oakmont that the mayor of the Borough is calling “manna from heaven.” The 34-acre plot along the Allegheny River was once the home of the Edgewater Steel mill. The mill closed its doors in 2001 and all the buildings have been leveled, including a water tower that was taken down moments before dignitaries turned the first ceremonial shovels of dirt. The new development will include 240 single and multi family units and 20,000 square feet of retail and office space with apartments on the second floor. EQA Landmark Communities President Brett Malky says they will leave the river’s edge open to the public. A walking path will run the length of the site and Malky says they will add a small amphitheater where local school children can come for classes on the environment and the history of the site. Malky says the homes will range from $200,000 to $700,000. Oakmont Mayor Robert Fescemyer says the site is “rising from the ashes.” It is still unclear how much tax revenue the development will generate but the mayor says he knows it will help the bottom lines of the borough and the school district. The developer has also promised to build a new baseball and soccer field a few blocks down stream, which is something the community has been demanding for several years. Financing for the $15 million dollar project includes a $7.7 million loan from the state and $1.5 million from the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC). The EPA is also kicking in a million dollars.