Dormont Council plans to vote next week to appoint a steering committee of local business owners and residents to help the borough negotiate the proposed #1 Cochran development on West Liberty Avenue.
The committee would be made up of local business owners and residents in the area of the Cochran Nissan Dealership on West Liberty Avenue that could be affected by the dealership’s possible expansion in the area.
“They would not be negotiators, and they would not have a veto,” said council President Bill McCartney. “What they would do is serve as a sounding board for alternatives and negotiating strategies, as well as a voice of reason in the community so we have folks out there who know what’s going on all the time.”
The proposal included construction of a Volkswagen showroom, a #1 Cochran South Hills Service and Collision Center in Castle Shannon, site improvements to the Nissan center, and a new Nissan showroom on West Liberty Avenue. A new Infiniti showroom next to the Nissan site also is proposed. Of those projects, the only definite plans are for the Nissan development.
Since that meeting, McCartney said, council determined that a small committee of council, supported by a real estate attorney, would be necessary as the borough moves forward with negotiations. McCartney said council hopes to find an “experienced, seasoned” real estate attorney with experience in commercial real estate to assist the borough.
“We do not intend to use Cochran’s numbers to cut a deal with Cochran,” he said.
Parts of real estate negotiations can not be made public, he said, but proposals provided by #1 Cochran will be made public as it is legal to do so. He also said rumors that council already has sold property to #1 Cochran are not true.
“We’re not going to rush into anything,” he said. “We’re not going to give parking lots away or any of that stuff.”
At the next meeting, council plans to authorize the appointment of a real estate attorney to assist in these matters.
The next Dormont Council meeting is March 5 at 7 p.m. in the recreation center above Dormont Pool.