City council expects to have an agreement with the developers by next week.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR PENNSYLVANIA BUREAU
SHARON, Pa. — City officials and private developers believe a new eight-story building will spur the revitalization of the downtown.
Representatives from Shenango Avenue Associates appeared before Sharon City Council on Thursday to outline plans for a private/public partnership that could eventually bring $32 million worth of redevelopment to the city.
Shenango Avenue Associates is composed of Greg Koledin, who is part of Wesex . in West Middlesex, Pa., Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader and Larry Segal of Berwyn, Pa., a former director of redevelopment under Gov. Ed Rendell’s administration who now is a private developer.
The three are set to begin construction Dec. 15 on an eight-story, $8 million building on Shenango Avenue, the site of the former Elks building. The new building is called The Lofts at Centre City.
Koledin said they expect to have the building finished by September because their first tenant is scheduled to occupy the building. The first floor will be retail, the next two floors commercial, and rest of the building set aside for residential units.
Koledin said he expects the 850-square-foot, two-bedroom units to be rented for $750 per month. They hope to attract some of the students from the nearby Penn State Shenango campus, which offers no housing.
Koledin said they have started plans for a second building, to be called the Renaissance building, but do not yet have a location.
He said it will be similar in design with commercial and retail space on the lower floors and residential units above.
The developers say these two buildings are only part of their vision for downtown Sharon. They want to enter into a public/private partnership with the city to help with some other redevelopment.
Koledin said they want the city to re-route truck traffic from downtown and refurbish the underused city parking garage. They would also like to see a proposed foot bridge built connecting the east and west sides of the Shenango River.
Segal said this is the kind of development Rendell likes to see in the state.
“He wants to transform cities. You can only transform cities doing projects of scale and scope,” he said.
Segal said there is the opportunity to access state money for revitalization, but a public/ private partnership is needed.
Council President Fred Hoffman said council is working on an agreement and hopes to have it ready for a vote by next Thursday.