A special meeting hosted by representative of #1 Cochran on Monday night took some of the mystery out of proposed plans for the West Liberty Avenue corridor in Dormont.
Rob Cochran, president and CEO of #1 Cochran, shared the business’s anticipated plan of development in the South Hills for the next 12 months.
The proposed plan includes construction of a Volkswagen showroom by the fall of 2012, a #1 Cochran South Hills Service and Collision Center in Castle Shannon by late summer of 2012 and site improvements to the Nissan center, as well as 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. Construction on that project is expected to begin this spring. The design has been tailored to foster better navigation around the site and improve the customer experience, Cochran said.
“The investment is significant,” Cochran said. “We’ve gone back and forth about how we can engineer so this makes sense. I think the finished product is something we all can be proud of.”
In Dormont, the development would be along West Liberty Avenue, on parcels of land located between McFarland Road and Park Avenue. Those parcels of land currently are owned by #1 Cochran, Dormont Borough and the Port Authority of Allegheny County.
Bill Krahe, president of Grand View Development Company, said a meeting with the public about #1 Cochran’s plans was long overdue, particularly given the number of entities involved. Grand View is #1 Cochran's developer for the projects.
The business’s development plan has been in the works for about two years, and Krahe said #1 Cochran and its associates had asked the borough several times if such a meeting with the public could be arranged.
None had been scheduled until Monday’s meeting, when most residents in attendance said it was the first time they were hearing about the plans and learning who was involved.
Cochran said there is a large infrastructure investment in the projects, and the business’s goal is to provide exceptional customer experience through service and facilities, but also to be a good corporate partner to the borough. He said he thinks #1 Cochran has lived up to that so far.
“I know when we look at the last seven years here, I’m sure there are some mistakes that we’ve made,” Cochran said. “Going forward, it’s important for us that when people see us, they say ‘that’s a company that does the right things,’ or at least, tries to do the right things most of the time.”
Continue to follow Dormont-Brookline Patch for more information about #1 Cochran’s development plans.