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Hermitage plans to get technical at Gateway



Published: Mon, February 18, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The park will be developed in at least three phases; a tenant already located in phase one.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Gateway Commerce Park isn't a typical industrial development site.

It's been designed as a technical park and is identified as Hermitage Technical Park on the Mercer County Strategy 1000 list of eight targeted industrial areas.

There won't be any heavy manufacturing plants built on the 110-acre site off state Route 18. And, unlike the other Strategy 1000 sites, this one is expected to have a direct municipal-private partnership in the development of some of the land.

The city has plans to become a partner in the project, buying and marketing some of the property.

The park will be developed in at least three phases, and KAKE Development Co. of Hermitage already owns both the 16-acre first phase and 32-acre second phase sites and has one tenant in phase one.

Ready to go: Regional Cardiology Center opened there last year, and the rest of the 16 acres is ready for development with an access road and sewers in place, said Gary Gulla, assistant city manager.

The city intends to buy the remaining 60-plus acres (the former Chadderton Airport) either on its own or in a joint venture with KAKE and has already identified some computer-related businesses interested in the area, Gulla said.

Hermitage has applied for a $2.5 million state capital budget grant to help to make that purchase and extend utility lines into the phase two area and the rest of the park, he said.

The application uses KAKE's ownership and improvements of the land in the first two phases to help match the state grant, and Hermitage has put up $250,000 out of its municipal land bank program as well, Gulla said.

Additional financial commitments may be required before the grant is released, he said, estimating the total project cost at $5.7 million.

Green space: Gulla said the state grant would include $400,000 for passive recreational development around the park that will be open to public use, expanding recreation facilities in the southern section of the city. It will include more than a mile of trails, 2,000 feet of concrete walkways, hundreds of trees and evergreens to serve as a greenway buffer and landscaping.

The overall development plan shows a total of 59 building lots, with eight in phase one, 20 in phase two and the rest on the remaining acreage.

Gateway Commerce Park also is on a state SelectSites list of industrial sites ready for immediate development and is getting state marketing assistance for two of its parcels in the first phase area.




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