Construction company wants to buy old Tarentum ice rink and use it for material storage

A Wexford-based construction company is looking to buy the old Tarena roller skating rink in Tarentum and turn it into a storage facility.

Representatives from Bridges and Company Inc. appeared before the Tarentum Planning Commission on Wednesday to present their plan and obtain the commission’s recommendation that the board approve the project.

This would involve granting Bridges a conditional use, industrial category, for a recreational zoned property.

Commission Chairman Jim Bonner said Tarentum’s board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Jan. 18.

In the meantime, he said the committee would discuss the proposal and make a recommendation before then.

At least two members of the commission appeared to balk at the plan presented Wednesday by Paul A. “Gus” Marquart of Bridges and David Montgomery, Bridges’ attorney.

Marquart said his company specializes in construction and construction management, having built “the majority of Target and Walmart stores in western Pennsylvania.” He said the company is now doing more in construction management. It now subcontracts much of its construction work, with its operations mainly covering an area of ​​five counties around Allegheny County.

He said the reason Bridges were looking to move their facility, which is now on an Etna property that is being converted to another use, is its proximity to the Pennsylvania toll highway. . He said that while much of the company’s work is centered in this region, it will also undertake projects in neighboring states.

“We will use the space for the storage of our small tools and equipment – industrial heaters, scaffolding, ladders, HEPA filters,” said Marquart.

Planning Commission member Tim Rapp asked if the company would do any type of construction or manufacturing on the property.

“We would potentially be doing minor subcontract work where, for example, we might have to do prep work on the doors,” Marquart said. “There will be days when nothing happens there. “

He said the Tarena building, located at 209 Lock Street, which also faces Second Avenue, will require work. Roof repairs or a new roof will be needed as well as the installation of a garage door along Plum Alley at the rear of the building, Marquart said. Eventually, he said installing another garage door on Lock Street might be needed as well.

As for the exterior, he said metallic siding could be installed or, at the very least, the building would be painted.

“I guarantee you it will be better once we’re done than it is today,” said Marquart.

Commission Member Cindy Homburg asked if there would be employees at the facility on a daily basis. Marquart said no, not “significantly”.

It seemed to give him and his colleague Dianna Roney a break to accept Bridges’ proposal.

“What do we get if they don’t bring in employees? Said Hombourg.

“I want to see a business come into our city, to help build our city,” she said, adding that these would be businesses that would have employees who frequent other businesses in the city.

“I’m not sure if this is a good use for a property in the middle of our shopping district,” Roney said.

Resident David Rankin, president of Community Development Corp., said he was concerned that approval of such conditional use could affect neighboring properties.

Rapp, however, took the opposite view.

“There are people who bought buildings in the city and didn’t do anything about it,” he said.

According to Marquart, the tax bill on the building brings in about $ 3,200 per year in property taxes. It is currently owned by Lori J. Swartz, Darcy L. Carson and Curtis E. Hubert, according to the hearing request filed by Bridges.

Bonner asked how soon Bridges would move to buy the property.

“Within 30 days of approval, we are ready to close,” Marquart said. “I would say time is of the essence for us.”

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