Route 19 has groundswell of earth-moving projects

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

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.

From north to south …

• Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center is building a second location off Meadowbrook Drive. Site preparation began three weeks ago for a 15,000-square-foot facility, which will treat patients only on a referral or emergency basis.

The project should take a year to complete, said hospital administrator Ken Spokane. PVSEC is based in Ohio Township, Allegheny County.

R.D. Stewart Co. of Sharpsburg is the on-site contractor, which has excavated a mountain of boulders and rocks that is visible from Washington Road.

Although the address will be 1535 Washington Road, access to the center will be from Meadowbrook Drive, according to North Strabane building inspector Doug Trbovich.

Work there began just a few weeks after University Veterinarian Specialists, a 24-hour hospital, opened on Washington Road, eight miles to the north in Peters Township.

• About 150 yards down from Meadowbrook, and across Route 19, phase II of the Park Place at the Meadowlands continues to evolve. Bacon, Bourbon & Beer opened three weeks ago and Planet Fitness and 206 rental units – 116 apartments, 90 townhouses – remain under construction.

• Downhill and slightly off Racetrack Road, a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant is going up near Primanti Bros. in the Street of the Meadows project. Block has been laid and steel has been set for a building that Dunkin’ will share with one or two other tenants.

A November opening is planned, said Anthony Braun, chief operating officer for Heartland Restaurant Group, the Strip District-based franchisee for Dunkin’ in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

He added this location will have about 1,900 square feet of space with full line offerings; outside seating; inside seating for 30; and a drive-up window. Forty will be employed initially.

• Following an extended lull, Old Mill is under construction again in South Strabane. Site work has begun behind Chick-fil-A restaurant on a 10,000-square-foot building that will be occupied by four to six tenants.

“We have gotten a lot of interest from quick service restaurants and general retailers,” said Andy Boyd, senior asset manager for TSG Properties, the St. Louis-based owner of the 104-acre complex. No leases have been signed for that location.

Boyd said the building should be completed by late October with the first tenants moving in by year’s end.

• Across the highway, the former Sharp’s Furniture property is being refashioned. The site, off Route 19 and across from Old Mill, is being prepared for a strip shopping center.

Details are sparse. Summer Ewing of Win Development LLC, the Belleair Beach, Fla.-based ownership group, said in a recent email that “while we are very close to finalizing our tenant mix, we are still a few weeks away from being able to publicly discuss it.”

The Pittsburgh office of CBRE Group is handling leasing.

• Another Dunkin’ Donuts is being developed at the intersection of Murtland and Raymond Boulevard, adjacent to AAA Travel Agency. Site preparation is underway and a late November/early December opening is targeted.

Heartland’s Braun said this location will be free standing – no other tenants – and a little larger than the one on Racetrack. It will have about 40 employees, 30 seats inside and a drive-up window. Outside seating, he added, “is up in the air.”

Construction on a third Dunkin’ Donuts, on Washington Road in Peters Township, is far along. It could open in the next month to six weeks. A Washington County resident will be the manager of each of these locations, Braun said.

The county did not have a Dunkin’ restaurant until one opened in Canonsburg in May 2015. Within 18 months, Washington may have four.

Greene County may be in line for its first.

“Waynesburg will definitely see a Dunkin’ Donuts someday,” Braun said, adding, “I don’t know when.”