Dormont Council has approved a plan proposed by the #1 Cochran Automotive Group for redevelopment on West Liberty Avenue.
In a special meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 19, council approved a plan that has been discussed publically for the past 10 months. Council members John Maggio and Eugene Barilla did not attend the meeting.
Borough manager Jeff Naftal said that for now, parking in the borough will not change. Residents and business patrons can continue to park where they always have parked.
All of #1 Cochran's development plans must be approved by borough council before they are implemented in the borough. The first plan will be parking lot reconstruction, which Naftal said council will vote on in February. Construction and changes to parking arrangements in the borough is not expected to begin until spring.
Four separate agreements were voted on and approved at Wednesday’s meeting:
- An agreement for #1 Cochran and Dormont Borough to swap property. This agreement includes the provision that #1 Cochran must secure approval for its Infiniti dealership, must create a public parking lot for the borough on the site of its current used car lot, and make sure the Junction Parking Lot is suitable for the development of the Infiniti dealership.
- A formal resolution authorizing the transfer of properties.
- An amendment to the existing ground lease agreement. #1 Cochran currently leases three borough-owned lots on West Liberty Avenue between Park Boulevard and Biltmore Avenue. These lots, as well as a lot #1 Cochran owns on Biltmore Avenue, are used for car storage. The lot on Biltmore Avenue will be transferred to the borough’s ownership, and #1 Cochran will lease this fourth lot from the borough until its development project is complete at the rate of $1,200 per month. When the project is complete, the borough will regain use of all four lots.
- The creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, pending additional approval from Allegheny County and the Keystone Oaks School District. Should the TIF district be created, #1 Cochran has guaranteed a payment of $100,000 or more to the borough, in addition to its current taxes. The majority of those funds will be used to make infrastructure improvements and investment in development opportunities on West Liberty Avenue.
#1 Cochran also has agreed to several additional commitments to the borough. The auto company plans to construct a welcome sign of sorts at the corner of West Liberty Avenue and McFarland Road to let drivers know they are entering the Borough of Dormont. The design will be approved by Dormont Council.
#1 Cochran also plans to work with the borough to find alternative or additional parking in the business district while construction is taking place.
The agreement documents, in full, are attached to this article as a PDF document. Also attached to this article is a PowerPoint detailing the project that Naftal presented in August.