In The News

MVA CEO: Mon Valley poised for economic, community growth

As chief executive officer for the Mon Valley Alliance, Chris Whitlatch isn’t just a cheerleader for the Mon Valley. He’s also charged with putting the means in place for an area he says is ripe for economic and community revival.

“We believe we are poised for growth,” Whitlatch, 43, told the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Friday at its breakfast meeting at The Golf Club of Washington.

New rec center opens at W&J

 Washington & Jefferson College officially opened a new 30,000-square-foot recreation center Friday.

The James David Ross Recreation Center – the first of its kind in the school’s 236-year history – is part of a $100 milllion project that includes construction and upgrades to other college buildings.

Area rail project receives $1.8M state grant

A $1.8 million grant from the state Department of Transportation will support a freight rail infrastructure improvement project in Washington and Westmoreland counties.

DCED’s Davin gets update on microbrewery, incubator projects

As secretary of the state Department of Community and Economic Development, Dennis Davin frequently sees the business districts of a lot of towns the size of Washington and even smaller.

Following a brief tour of A&M Wine & Beer Supplies and Washington Winery, as well as the adjacent microbrewery on East Maiden Street that is a work in progress, Davin said he could see the potential the businesses have for the economic well-being of a town.

Canon-Mac expanding high school, improving stadium

Several capital improvement projects in the Canon-McMillan School District are intended to accommodate a robust student population.

According to Assistant Superintendent Scott Chambers, officials started planning for new construction, renovations and expansion of existing facilities after a demographic study performed in 2013 forecast a growing population in the district.

Partners update progress on downtown Washington business incubator

The partners of a planned small business incubator in Washington said Wednesday that funding requests for the project are moving forward, spurred by a matching challenge from one of the area’s most successful entrepreneurs.

The project, known as the Washington Area Business Incubator, was announced in September by Tori Haring-Smith, president of Washington & Jefferson College, and Tom Northrop, publisher of the Observer-Reporter.

Whiskey, wine and beer: A spirited discussion about a downtown renaissance

Shell cracker project dominates PRA 2016 ‘scorecard’

Energy may have been in a downturn in Southwestern Pennsylvania in 2016, but that didn’t stop industries of all types from making a huge capital investment in the Pittsburgh region – $10.2 billion – in manufacturing, health care, information technology, financial services and, yes, energy.

The $10.2 billion worth of total investment was the largest-ever annual amount recorded by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, which released the results Thursday of its 10th annual Business Investment Scorecard for the 10-county region that includes Washington and Greene counties.

Highway construction gears up for season

As one construction project on Interstate 70 starts to wind down and two more continue, drivers traveling the highway in Washington County should be prepared for two new construction zones.

There will be five construction projects on different stretches of the highway between the welcome center in Donegal Township and the Centerville/Monongahela interchange.

LaCarte, King team up to bring Stoney’s beer back to family roots

Two Mon Valley businessmen are helping Stoney’s Beer return to its Smithton family roots.

In a press release issued Wednesday by Stoney’s, the company announced that Jon King, great-grandson of William Benjamin “Stoney” Jones, in partnership with John LaCarte, president of LaCarte Enterprises based in Charleroi, have formed Stoney’s Brewing Co. They have acquired the trademarks and licenses to brew and sell Stoney’s Premium and Stoney’s Light Beer from Jones Brewing Co.

Peters Township approves patio home development

A new 54-unit residential development has gained Peters Township Council’s approval.

The unanimous vote last week paves the way for Sherwood Pond, the final phase of the Crossings plans developed by Eddy Land Co. of Bridgeville. The patio homes, carrying an expected average price tag of $550,000, are to be built on 15.761 acres between the current terminus of Maid Marion Lane and the Pleasant Valley Elementary School property.

Panel: Townships would benefit from regional approach on issues

Three of Washington County’s township managers said Friday they speak frequently with their counterparts in other townships and often enter into cooperative agreements to purchase goods and services and to share equipment.

But the trio, featured in a panel discussion at the monthly breakfast meeting of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, said they would like to see all of the county’s municipalities be a part of a bigger picture represented by a regional plan.

BSRE sees multiple leasing activity in Southpointe

Burns Scalo Real Estate has announced the following new leases in the Southpointe mixed-use business park. 

The company said in a press release three leases at BSRE’s Zenith Ridge 2 were signed, including Colonial Life, S & B Engineering and ECM Energy, along with an expansion of Elior/Aladdin, a food management company.

New center open to community, nonprofits

A new, 5,200-square-foot structure with the most up-to-date features and amenities stands at 59 E. Strawberry Ave., on the site of a historic Washington institution.

Pete Cameron, great-grandson of Cameron Coca-Cola Bottling founder Wilfred Cameron, and his wife, Kathy, opened The Center on Strawberry on Wilfred’s old homestead and business property.

Safety stressed at soon-to-open Goldfish Swim School in Peters Township

Concrete plant in the mix for Robinson

A Beaver County concrete maker is planning to build a plant in Robinson Township ahead of growth expected from the Southern Beltway expansion.

Franklin Township-based J.J. Kennedy Inc. plans to break ground in the spring on a ready-mix concrete plant on Old Steubenville Pike near the Findlay Township line.

New mines bank on steel’s need for metallurgical coal

Contractors for Corsa Coal Corp. are busy digging a hole larger than a football field in Somerset County. Their goal is the Middle Kittanning seam – buried about 120 feet deep.

The Southpointe-based company is on schedule to open its Acosta Deep Mine in May, with a plan for at least 70 miners to remove about three miles of metallurgical-quality coal – used in steelmaking – over the next decade. Starting a new mine in an era when many are shutting down feels good, said Robert Bottegal, Corsa’s general manager for engineering.

Maryland firm purchases Iceoplex property

A Chevy Chase, Md., holding company has purchased Southpointe’s Iceoplex.

Iceoplex Operating LLC, an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, acquired all of the assets of the Southpointe sports complex, with plans to improve the financially troubled facility.

FirstEnergy plans $235M in improvements in West Penn Power area

FirstEnergy plans to spend $235 million during 2017 to make infrastructure upgrades in the 24-county West Penn Power services area, including improvements aimed at supporting the shale gas industry.

Cal U. plans to build new science building

Washington Winery expanding to Mon Valley

The marriage of wine and art has been a long and happy one, from gallery openings and artists’ shows to the advent of “paint and sip” parties that have gained wide popularity over the past several years.

It’s the latter category that’s driving the decision of the owners of Washington Winery to open a satellite location at Off The Wall Gallery on McKean Avenue in Charleroi.

County economic development scorecard posts another healthy year

Despite the downturn in natural gas production last year, Washington County attracted 80 economic development and infrastructure projects that amounted to more than $1.1 billion in capital investments.

The tally, which was spread over several different sectors, was presented Thursday by the Washington County commissioners during their annual economic update at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe.

Long wait for Mon-Fayette completion, not so much for I-79 widening

Finishing the Mon-Fayette Expressway probably will take a couple of more decades, but improvements to Interstate 79 in Cecil and South Fayette townships are well on the way.

New Minteer’s Market owners plan to add a bit of the general store

The new owners of Minteer’s Market are planning some tweaks to the longtime store on Main Street before opening in the next few weeks.

Ryan Yoest, who along with several other family members own and operate Yoest Feed & Farm Supply at 2465 E. Finley Drive, said the family recently purchased Minteer’s, which has been closed since mid-January.

“We’re renovating the whole place,” Yoest said last week. “It’s almost down to the walls.”

MVA announces funds for community development

Mon Valley Alliance announced the introduction of four new community development funds aimed at supporting and starting new projects that strengthen the community and benefit the region.

According to a news release from MVA Chief Executive Officer Chris Whitlatch, when the organization was formed last year it made a priority to be more involved in the communities it serves and to support shorter term community projects that improve the quality of life for residents and attract new people to the region.

Washington Financial takes former PNC site in Burgettstown

Washington Financial Bank, which hadn’t added a branch since 1999, is snapping the trend by opening two by midyear, growing its retail presence by 25 percent.

In addition to the Bridgeville office Washington Financial plans to open in the spring at 173 Millers Run Road, its first retail branch in Allegheny County, it has acquired a branch in Burgettstown from PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Montour named Pa. ‘Trail of the Year’ for ’17

In a statement last week announcing the designation, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn cited “a history of support dating back to the 1980s, annual user numbers surpassing 400,000 and a strong volunteer network” among the reasons for recognizing the trail system.

The agency noted the Montour Trail, which occupies the former right of way of the Montour Railroad and Peters Creek Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad between Clairton and Moon Township, is one of the oldest “rails-to-trails” ventures in the country

From the ground up: 84 Lumber’s expanded store openings create demand for management trainees

Revenue at the country’s largest privately held building materials supplier has been steadily climbing since 2011, following the bust in the housing industry that began in 2007 and was responsible for the Great Recession that began a year later and lasted until a turnaround began in 2010.

Panel: Promise of medical cannabis must rise to federal legal challenges

Despite the existence of a Pennsylvania law permitting the use of medical marijuana, the treatment still has a long way to go before it can get into the hands of those who could legally use it for relief from chronic pain or a variety of other medical conditions for which it has been approved.

That was the conclusion of an hourlong panel discussion conducted Friday before a packed room of members of Washington County Chamber of Commerce at The Golf Club of Washington.

Aspen Dental opening Tuesday in South Strabane Township

Dr. Alexander Wenner, DDS, will open his new Aspen Dental office Tuesday, January 31 at 360 Washington Road, adjacent to the Trinity Point shopping complex on the site of the former Sharp’s Furniture.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen coming to South Strabane

The conversion of a former Long John Silver’s to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is expected to begin this week.

The structure at 301C Oak Spring Road, at the entrance to Washington Mall, South Strabane Township, will house the fast-food chain, owned and operated by AR Group of Restaurants of Trenton, N.J.

UMWA Career Center gets grant for coal miner retraining

UMWA Career Centers Inc., based in Ruff Creek, has received a $1.2 million grant from Appalachian Regional Commission through the federal Power initiative to help retrain displaced coal miners.

The money will be used to deliver workforce training and job-placement services to unemployed coal miners in eight Southwestern Pennsylvania counties and two southern West Virginia counties, according to a release issued Thursday by ARC announcing the funding.

Southern Beltway expansion moves forward

Part of Quicksilver Road in Robinson Township will close next month as work gets underway on the long-planned expansion of the Southern Beltway.

The Quicksilver closure, set to begin Feb. 1, will allow contractors to rebuild a quarter-mile section of the road as part of work on a four-mile stretch of highway from Route 22 south of Pittsburgh International Airport.

Range Resources gives Mon Valley Hospital $50K for ER upgrades

Mon Valley Hospital will perform $75,000 in improvements to standardize the rooms in its emergency department.

The project was boosted Tuesday with a $50,000 donation from Southpointe-based Range Resources, money that will also be spent to improve patient and visitor safety in the department’s 24 rooms, the company and hospital said.

Zip Office: Making the business center mobile

From the outside, the new Zip Office Business Center in Southpointe Town Center looks like most places a person could go to ship a package, make copies or pick up some office supplies.

But once inside, a visitor learns that there is much more than meets the eye.

Dollar General opens today in South Franklin

Dollar General will open for business this morning in South Franklin Township.

A soft opening will begin at 8 a.m. at the variety store at 2180 Park Ave., where a mobile home development once sat and near Michels Pipeline.

Charleroi restaurateur building brewery next door

Heads up. A fourth brewery is coming to Washington County.

Four Points Barbeque and Brewing is under construction in downtown Charleroi. The restaurant end, actually, has operated for more than four years – as Fourth Street Barbeque. Dave Barbe Jr., the appropriately named owner of the established establishment and the future brew pub, will run the businesses as one – thus the all-inclusive name change.

Washington County commissioners to seek OK for $6.75 million in LSA projects

The Washington County Board of Commissioners expects to ask that the state Department of Community and Economic Development approve $6.75 million in projects for 2017 from the Local Share Account of revenue from The Meadows.

Mon Valley Hospital buying the Willow Room

Monongahela Valley Hospital Inc. plans to purchase the Willow Pointe Building, 800 Plaza Drive, Rostraver Township, which houses various hospital departments, doctors’ offices and a fitness center, according to a resolution presented Wednesday at an agenda meeting of the Washington County commissioners.

Coal Tipple Brewery tips its glass to county’s mining history

Coal Tipple is also ramping up slowly. Chris showed a brewing area in the basement that is in the process of enabling the brewery to move from one-barrel batches to seven barrels.

The brewery will feature a total of six beers, with four on tap at any time, but the brewing area is large enough to go to 10-barrel batches as demand grows, Chris said.

Brewery is on tap for city next summer

Washington County has one brewery, and it just opened. By midsummer, there could be three.

Signs are up for Washington Brewing Co. at 28 E. Maiden St., in a space once occupied by a Studebaker car dealership. The brewery will be built next to Washington Winery/A&M Wine and Beer Supplies, near the intersection with South Main Street.

MMR getting ready for next industrial buildout

“We follow the major pipeline construction all the way down into West Virginia and Virginia,” he said.

District Manager Tony Graham said the new office in Lawrence, which is scheduled to open in the spring, is 10,000 square feet, with offices and warehouse space, and includes an 800 square-foot training room.

FirstEnergy’s $40 million substation to serve natural gas production, other customers

Construction has begun on a new FirstEnergy Corp. transmission substation in Smith Township to help meet the increased electrical usage of the area’s expanding Marcellus Shale gas industry. 

The project also will reinforce the regional transmission system which is expected to benefit more than 40,000 West Penn Power customers in Allegheny and Washington counties.

That's the spirit-Forty Bar & Grill striving to be a popular haunt

The management crew of Forty Bar & Grille couldn’t have chosen a better time to launch – Oct. 31.

On Halloween, on reputedly haunted grounds.

After nearly seven months of construction, Forty Bar & Grille is targeted to open next Monday, said Emily Cottrill, project manager/office manager.

Tech Met seals deal for Donora Industrial Park site

A longtime Mon Valley manufacturer with ties to the aerospace industry has landed – officially – at Donora Industrial Park.

Tech Met Inc., a Glassport company since 1988, is expanding its operations to a second location. It closed a deal Friday afternoon to purchase the property at 79 E. Eighth St., a building previously operated by Poly One Corp., which shuttered about three years ago.

New Meadows GM sees some changes coming, but will wait for others

The new general manager of The Meadows Casino said Tuesday his company will make capital investments in the gaming and entertainment venue in North Strabane Township.

Rodney Centers, 45, a 10-year veteran of the casino industry, also said he’s confident state legislators will arrive at a fair solution for how Pennsylvania’s casinos will fund local share payments to communities, following last month’s state Supreme Court decision that the current funding method is unconstitutional.

Chicago real estate investor buys at Southpointe

Chicago-based M&J Wilkow Ltd. is extending its investment in the Pittsburgh market to Southpointe.

After first entering the region’s commercial real estate market by buying the Waterfront in Homestead, three buildings downtown and Penn Center East in Wilkins Township, M&J Wilkow has closed on buying 275 Technology Drive, the two-story, 108,000-square-foot former headquarters of Ansys (Nasdaq: ANSS), which has sat vacant since the company left it for a new, larger office at nearby Zenith Ridge. No purchase price was disclosed.

Commissioners approve Starpointe land sale

The Washington County commissioners advanced plans for changes affecting county property.

Cardinal Properties, doing business as Keystone Containment Contractors of Imperial, will pay $521,000 for an eight-acre site at Starpointe Business Park where it plans to construct a 30,000-square-foot headquarters, warehouse and shop.

Spill-containment company coming to Starpointe

Keystone Containment Contractors of Imperial plans to purchase an eight-acre site at Starpointe business park, which the Washington County commissioners expect to approve Thursday.

Dan Reitz, executive director of the Washington County Council on Economic Development, said the company designs, makes, installs and maintains liners for spill containment and water retention ponds used by the natural gas and oil industry.

$6.1 million Independence-Cross Creek sewer upgrades moving forward

Independence-Cross Creek Joint Authority approved a $6.1 million sewer upgrade for 126 homes.

By a 4-1-1 margin in a Sept. 19 vote, Board Chairman Rob Gagliani said it’s been a long road.

W&J, O-R launch plans for downtown small-business incubator

A small-business incubator could be in operation in the heart of downtown Washington two years from now, according to plans announced Friday by Washington & Jefferson College and the Observer-Reporter.

Rice buys energy firm for $2.7 billion

Rice Energy Inc. is expanding its oil and gas holdings in the region … and beyond.

The Southpointe-based company announced Monday it agreed to buy Vantage Energy, an oil and gas firm, for $2.7 billion, including assumption of debt. Rice expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter.

Food bank to expand freezer, refrigeration capacity, build garage

Greater Washington County Food Bank will be using a half-million-dollar grant of state taxpayers’ money to house its vehicles and expand its capacity to store frozen foods and perishables to better feed its clientele.

W.G. Tomko opens 40,000 square-foot expansion

W.G. Tomko Inc. opened its new 40,000 square-foot expansion at its Finleyville headquarters, with a major emphasis on its fabrication shop.

The project, originally announced in June 2015, was showcased Friday with tours of the new area.

Steel Nation debuts turnkey energy services

Steel Nation, which for several years has provided design and construction services for natural gas compression stations in the region, announced Steel Nation Turn-Key Energy Services, a single-source solution for all oil and gas construction projects throughout the Marcellus and Utica shales, and other North American shale plays.

New operator, owner take over at The Meadows

The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has a new owner and operator.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Wednesday unanimously approved the change of control of the slot machine license held by Washington Trotting Association, operator of The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, to Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.

Washington City Mission breaks ground for veterans shelter

For years, City Mission officials prioritized a need to assist homeless veterans. A campaign to build a shelter exclusively for those who served was gaining momentum when a fire in the main building last summer derailed plans.

Thanks to community support, the men’s shelter was restored in less than a year, allowing progress toward the Veterans Residential Facility.

Plastics manufacturer Retal to locate in Donora, create 88 jobs

An international plastics packaging manufacturer will create 88 jobs as it opens a regional headquarters and production plant in Donora.

According to an announcement Tuesday from Gov. Tom Wolf, Retal PA LLC, which purchased an existing 140,000-square-foot facility at 55 S. Washington St., is investing at least $15 million, with company estimates reaching $24 million, to purchase machinery equipment and training for new employees. The company has also committed to create 88 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.

Mon Valley Alliance selects CEO

Five months after its formation, Mon Valley Alliance has a chief executive officer.

The MVA board announced Tuesday Christopher Whitlatch will begin serving in that capacity in mid-September. He has more than two decades of nonprofit and corporate experience, including the past seven years as director of digital initiations/communications with the Pittsburgh Foundation.

ANSYS makes leadership changes

ANSYS, the Southpointe-based global provider of engineering simulation software, announced a leadership succession plan.

Developer makes a push for South Strabane project

The owner of a 153-acre parcel of land adjacent to Tanger Outlets in South Strabane Township offered to fund maintenance of a public road in an attempt to establish a multiple-use development there.

Chapman Properties informed the board of supervisors Tuesday it would fund maintenance of a portion of Tanger Boulevard for 10 years if the township assumes responsibility for the road. Chapman maintains the private road would have to be transferred to the township in order to develop the property.

HCB Foundry gives South Strabane an offer they could not refuse

A developer that recently filed a lawsuit against South Strabane extended an olive branch Tuesday, ultimately ceasing litigation against the township.

Jonathan Kamen, an attorney representing HCB Foundry, told supervisors his client would rather “put money toward the township instead of legal fees.”

Sweet expansion: Bethel Bakery to open second location in North Strabane

Bethel Bakery had its company picnic Sunday in South Park. John and Chris Walsh served an unexpectedly sweet treat.

The owners of the iconic Bethel Park shop announced they were expanding their footprint into the next county. They are going to open a second location – a retail operation – in North Strabane Towne Center, meaning more jobs, more opportunities, more goodies.

Food service firm signs Zenith Ridge lease

Burns & Scalo Real Estate has secured a lease from Elior North America for 7,000 square feet in Zenith Ridge II in Southpointe II.

Mattress, dental firms committed to retail project at Sharp’s site

Steel is rising at the front of the former Sharp’s Furniture property, where a strip shopping center is in the earliest stages of development. Two tenants will occupy that building, and the owner has identified them.

Houston to be ethane source point for Shell pipeline project

A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plans to build a 94-mile pipeline to carry ethane to the cracker plant Shell is preparing to build in Beaver County.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Shell spokesman Ray Fisher, the pipeline will carry ethane produced by natural gas drilling companies in the tri-state area.

Washington Crown Center sold for $20 million

Washington Crown Center, which was on the block since early 2015, was sold to a New York-based mall operator for $20 million.

The finalization of the sale, pending since mid-July, was announced Tuesday by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which sold the 676,000-square-foot North Franklin Township retail center to Kohan Retail Investment Group, based in Great Neck, N.Y.

Global company plans opening in Canton Twp.

D&S Industrial Fasteners, a global company, is launching its first retail outlet this week in Canton Township.

Route 19 has groundswell of earth-moving projects

Summertime and the construction is busy.

The diverging diamond interchange with Interstate 70 isn’t the only project going full bore along Route 19 in Washington County. Earth is being moved and structures are going up throughout a four-mile stretch of North and South Strabane townships – from Meadowbrook Drive to Murtland Avenue.

Southpointe Fieldhouse moving because of Southern Beltway

A zoning change request Monday revealed Southpointe Fieldhouse and Fairfield Landscaping are being forced from their locations on Cecil-Henderson Road because of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s looming Southern Beltway project.

Peaks & Valleys: Despite energy’s downturn, Southpointe’s occupancy rate still shines

When the industry overproduced as a result of the increasing efficiencies of unconventional drilling, and prices for the fuel fell drastically, drilling slowed to a crawl at the beginning of 2015, and the need by energy companies for space in the park fell off.

But real estate professionals say Southpointe’s occupancy rates have barely declined, nor has its status as an energy center. They have, however, seen a shift to non-energy tenants who aren’t impacted by energy’s downturn.

Uber coming to Washington, Greene counties

The global ride-sharing provider, which operated in Pittsburgh for the past 2 1/2 years, is expanding its service in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Uber announced Thursday morning it was spreading out to seven counties surrounding Allegheny, including Washington and Greene. Fayette, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Butler and Indiana also are part of that larger footprint.

Washington Trust Building to receive $279K renovation

Washington City Council Thursday approved a low-interest loan of several hundred thousand dollars to help the Pittsburgh developer that owns Washington Trust Building pay for renovations in the six-story commercial space at the front of the building.

The unanimous vote allows Washington County Redevelopment Authority to lend $279,000 in city funds to Trek Development Group.

Mad Mex to open Aug. 8 along lake

Mad Mex to open Aug. 8 is a shore bet for Mad Mex Lakeside.

A spokesman for big Burrito Restaurant Group, the Pittsburgh-based parent company, said the Mexican dining spot is targeted to open that day. He said Monday morning construction is almost complete and employees are receiving two weeks of training.

Washington native launches Bacon, Bourbon & Beer

Shawn Janovich had owned a bar, but had never built one. So he underestimated the launch of Bacon, Bourbon & Beer.

Permitting, licensing, contracting, purchasing, construction and about 100 other variables take time and prevented him from opening the upscale restaurant last fall, as he initially hoped; last winter, his revised target; or this spring.

Mylan tight-lipped on plans for second HQ building

Generic pharmaceutical giant Mylan N.V. is planning to expand its administrative headquarters operations by one-third in Southpointe II after the company received approval Monday for height variances on a five-story building that would connect to its existing office space.

A pedestrian bridge connecting both office buildings would be constructed at each building’s second floor, according to design plans submitted to the Cecil Township Zoning Hearing Board.

Chick-fil-A Express coming to Cal U.

A Chick-fil-A Express is scheduled to open Aug. 29 in Natali Student Center in response to requests from students who wanted a quick-service restaurant on campus, Cal U. announced Monday.

Donora sells former bank building to business owners

Amid opposition from a few community members, Donora Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a bid of $31,000 for the sale of the former Community Bank building at 600 Meldon Ave.

The bid was made by Daniel and Angela Gorman of Black Diamond, who are small business owners.

Winery Tasting Room, Distillery To Open This Week

A winery and a distillery will have openings of different sorts in Washington County this week.

J&D Cellars, in Eighty Four, will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. today. The facility, at 290 Roupe Road, will open its new tasting room/building and wine-making area.

Landmark finalizes GG&C Bus Co. purchase

Landmark Student Transportation said Tuesday it completed its purchase of GG&C Bus Co. Inc.

The company’s purchase of GG&C from previous owner John Lenzner was announced in late 2015.

According to a news release, privately held Landmark, headquartered in Aurora, Ontario, operates school bus companies in Canada and in the United States, providing contracted student transportation services.

Washington County to buy airport hangar, office for $1.76 million

With a state Bureau of Aviation grant of as much as $1 million and a matching amount from the Local Share Account of gambling revenue from The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Washington County plans to purchase the hangar and office from Air Charter Service and Business Aviation Center at the county airport.

New Family Dollar under construction in Bentleyville

A new Family Dollar store is under construction on Bentleyville’s Main Street not far from where a district judge is preparing to open a restaurant.

McIlvried, DiDiano & Max of Pittsburgh is preparing the site next to the borough building at 900 Main St. for construction.

Auto parts store coming to Washington

O’Reilly Auto Parts, a specialty retailer of automotive parts, tools, equipment and accessories, is one step closer to setting up shop in Washington.

City council on Thursday approved a use-by-right application for development on the northeast corner of Jefferson and Oakland avenues, pending approval by the zoning hearing board. The plan calls for consolidation of five lots, from 750 to 790 Jefferson Avenue, including the former City Mission Hidden Treasures store and Shuba Auto Sales.

HVAC firm moves into WashArts building

JB Mechanical Inc., a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing company, has moved into 70 South St. in Washington.

Caterer moves to expanded space in Canonsburg, preps new service

Patty Walker acknowledges the business of catering can be a short-lived career, given the many variables – from intense competition for clients to the quality of the food – that can quickly tank the enterprise.

Walker, 48, who launched PW Catering in the basement of her Eighty Four home a decade ago, has been meeting those challenges, creating a recipe for success that moved her to an expanded level of the business.

North Strabane company seeks move south; developer requests Tanger Blvd. made public

William R. Matthews III, Ensinger’s vice president of administration, said the plan is to develop a 31-acre tract as their North American headquarters. The $40 million complex will encompass offices, manufacturing space and a robotic warehouse system.

A few obstacles could stand in Ensinger’s way.

Cecil Township approves residential development along Montour Trail

Cecil Township supervisors voted 4-1 Monday to give tentative approval to NVR Homes for a 104-acre townhome plan on McConnell Road along the Montour Trail.

Shell commits to Western Pennsylvania ethane cracker plant

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC said Tuesday it’s building a petrochemical plant that will create up to 6,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs once it begins production early next decade.

Construction will begin in the next 18 months, with the goal of bringing the Western Pennsylvania plant online early in the 2020s, the company said.

Business leaders see broad impact from Shell cracker decision

The news of Shell’s decision to build an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County was given a unanimous thumbs-up by business and industry leaders across the region Tuesday.

Allegheny Conference: Shell petrochemical complex is “once-in-a-generation” investment for Greater Pittsburgh region

On behalf of the Pittsburgh region, the Allegheny Conference congratulates Shell on the announcement of its positive final investment decision today to build a multibillion-dollar, state-of-the-art cracker facility here.  

Global plastics firm headed to Donora Industrial Park

A global plastics producer is coming to America – Donora specifically.

Retal Industries Ltd., a Cyprus-based firm, is locating in Donora Business Park. That not only will be the company’s U.S. headquarters, but its lone operation in the States.

New downtown building on the rise in Monongahela

A new commercial building is under construction on a vacant lot in historic Monongahela in a Mon Valley region where downtown demolition projects have tended to be the norm.

Monongahela furniture store owner Claudia Williams broke ground Thursday on the 26-foot-wide building on a lot in the 100 block of Main Street beside property where a blighted former hotel stood before she had it demolished in 2011

Dickey’s Barbecue opens today in Trinity Point

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, the nation’s largest barbecue franchise, is making its Southwestern Pennsylvania debut today at the Trinity Point shopping center.

Canonsburg gas station among those licensed to sell beer

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is granting nine more licenses to businesses that sell gasoline, including one in Canonsburg. It’s the latest step in loosening the hold on beer sales by bars and beer distributors.

City planners give approval to Trust Building renovation

After years of planning, developers are ready to revitalize the historic Washington Trust Building.

Trek Development Group, owner of the building since 2013, obtained conditional use approval from the City of Washington’s planning commission Wednesday to convert the 10-story “annex” portion of the building into 24 one-bedroom rental units. Current commercial office renters will move to the original six-story structure at the corner of South Main and East Beau streets.

Mon Valley Alliance acquires old Charleroi football stadium

Charleroi Area School Board agreed to sell the former high school football stadium Tuesday for $1 to an economic development group that plans to use the property to connect the borough to the Monongahela River.

Washington company buys energy business

Washington, Pa.-based GeoSpatial Innovations Inc. has acquired an energy transmission software business from a California company.

Terms of the deal for Trimble Energy Transmission Solutions weren't disclosed. The division being sold created software for engineers and field workers on overhead power lines.

WHS doctors groups merging, moving to Park Place

Two internal medicine practices affiliated with Washington Health System are merging and moving. 

Southpointe barre3 to open Monday

Rohall, a Southpointe native, is the owner of barre3, an exercise facility that will open Monday at 1800 Main St. in Southpointe II’s Town Center. Classes and onsite child care the first week –through May 22 – will be free.

Home care firm opens in Peters

The company recently opened its first office in the region, at 3244 Washington Road, Suite 239, in Peters Township. It is called the Southwest Pittsburgh location, and is near Arlecchino Ristorante.