Dormont Council, as well as about 25 citizens and small business owners, met Wednesday to review options for the much-discussed West Liberty Avenue business plan proposed in February by #1 Cochran.
The plan #1 Cochran proposed in February included the following:
- A possible land swap in which one parcel of borough-owned property—the triangle-shaped lot at the corner of West Liberty Avenue and McFarland Road—would be exchanged for two parcels of property currently owned by #1 Cochran. Both of those parcels border West Liberty Avenue.
- The possible creation of a Tax Increment Financing District to help finance the development project.
- The building of a parking lot—at #1 Cochran's expense—on one of the two parcels of land on West Liberty Avenue that would defer to the borough's ownership.
Three options in response to #1 Cochran's proposed business plan were discussed Wednesday.
The first option is to do nothing—to not move forward with the #1 Cochran proposal, and make no changes on West Liberty Avenue.
If nothing is done, the borough would not gain any extra revenue from taxes or TIF contributions. The lack of funds would mean that streetscape improvements, such as new sidewalks, lights, and landscaping would not be made.
The second option is to complete the land swap, but not implement the TIF district. By completing the land swap, Dormont would gain about $30,000 in extra tax revenue and would gain a new parking lot on West Liberty Avenue, as well as more parking after Cochran's business expansion is complete. However, the cost of building those lots would fall to the borough—around $400,000 total to complete parking lots on five parcels of land.
The third option is to both complete the land swap and implement the TIF district, which could generate $100,000 or more per year. TIF funds could be used to make improvements to both sides of West Liberty Avenue. New parking lots also would be created.
In all scenarios, the borough still would be responsible for paying the $350,000 cost of the triangle lot, which was purchased several years ago. In both the second and third options, parking would be limited in the borough while construction of new lots is underway.
No votes on the matter will be made until September at the earliest. No contracts between the borough and #1 Cochran have been signed.
Comments from the public are being accepted until the end of the work day on Friday. Those with questions or comments about the proposal and options can email borough manager Jeff Naftal at email@example.com.