Friday, March 30, 2007

Development update...

My fellow Tattlers, not much has developed in recent weeks but here are a few updates:

- Wal-Mart still contends that they do not plan to develop a store along McKnight Road. However, this Tattler has learned a few details.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Wal-Mart wants to talk with Ross officials about stop lights or other street improvements before it does any more planning for a store along busy McKnight Road. News about the project came to light after the company sent a letter to township commissioners soliciting feedback on possible changes in traffic patterns on McKnight Road, just north of Siebert Road."

So as you can see, Wal-Mart is in discussions with a select few people from Ross Township. This probably included a few commissioners, township manager and possibly the building inspector.

In this Tattler's opinion, Wal-Mart is testing the waters to prevent a situation like Monroeville occurring again. When the chain tried to develop a store in Monroeville, several community members rallied against the project and prevented the development from going further.

I also have learned that if a store is built along McKnight Road, Wal-Mart officials want to build a superstore. Officials have additionally said they have enough land to build a store and are just in informal talks with Ross Township.

Late last week, Wal-Mart announced they are taking over the Kilbuck project along Route 65. According to Jim Davis, senior manager of public affairs:

"Wal-Mart is immediately assuming full operational control of its portion of the River Pointe Plaza property located in Kilbuck Township, Allegheny County. Wal-Mart's intent and focus will be to stabilize the site in accordance with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requirements. Wal-Mart firmly believes this decision is in the best interest of the surrounding communities."

While it seems they are remaining optimistic when it comes to the Kilbuck property, this Tattler believes they are going to scrap the whole project. Problems with the Kilbuck site probably motivated chain officials to locate another site - McKnight Road. After undergoing a landslide, this Tattler cannot envision the Kilbuck Project going any further.

- A new business is going into the former location of Don Pablo's Restaurant at McIntyre Square in Ross Township. The new business is called Emiliano's Mexican Restaurant and this Tattler will have more information about it next week.

I've also learned that the reason for Don Pablo's demise at the location was not due to poor sales but a corporate decision. While at the Robinson Township location last weekend, a manager said the chain was growing too quickly and some had to close.

This tends to happen with a lot of businesses that undergo a growth spurt. However, he said Don Pablo's is in good shape now and is planning on opening businesses called Don Pablo's Fajita Grill in the future.

If you hear anything let this Tattler know: Working to keep you posted...

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