A mixed-use development off Highway 28 in Harrison is expected to move forward in the spring after several years of dormancy.
Brian Clark, consultant for R&Z Harrison Properties, said site work and infrastructure is set to begin on Harrison Point, a 162-acre development near the highway’s Tarentum Interchange (Exit 14).
“Our main target is office, medical and technology, retail, research, flexibility and a bit of hospitality,” Clark said.
“We need to be flexible as this market continues to evolve and change, but we are confident moving forward.”
The complex adjoins the township’s Silverlake property, a long-vacant recreation area that is being revitalized thanks in part to a land donation by R&Z that helped Harrison Commissioners win a state grant for improvements.
Work began Nov. 1 on a $240,000 walking path in the park, located between Harrison Point and Carlisle Street.
“This is a unique opportunity to advance two major projects simultaneously,” Clark said.
“It’s a delicate process of developing along Highway 28 without disturbing the terrain in the valley.”
Harrison Point developers were awarded $1 million in a state site preparation grant last week.
R&Z was among several groups that shared $9.5 million under the redevelopment assistance program.
The money will be used for grading, culvert construction, utilities and road improvements.
“The development of Harrison Point represents an important project for the township,” said Commissioner Chuck Dizard. “This will broaden the township’s tax base, create new jobs in the area, improve the look of the landscape and provide additional support to Silverlake.
“This will be one of the biggest economic investments in the township for many years.”
Clark expects work on the site to take up to two years.
“We hope to deliver parts of the project before that,” he said.
He thanked the Harrison Commissioners for their support in advancing two projects in the same area.
State Senator Lindsey Williams advocated for the Harrison Grant. She said the capital investment will benefit the region through job creation and productive land use.
“These redevelopment grants are extremely competitive statewide,” Williams said. “I look forward to seeing the return on those investments.”
Initial plans for the business park were launched in 2017. At that time, trees were felled on 45 acres at the site to deter northern bats from nesting there.
The developers worked with state and federal agencies to minimize the impact on bat species by preventing them from continuing to build their homes in trees that would eventually fall.
“We are maintaining the sensitive environmental landscape and creating a world-class community park as we develop a business park to attract businesses to the area,” Clark said.
Tawnya Panizzi is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tawnya by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .