Scarmazzi Homes plans town homes in Canonsburg

Katie Anderson

Scarmazzi Homes is planning to start construction in September on eight townhouses on the vacant lot at 119 Greenside Ave. in Canonsburg.

Owner Paul Scarmazzi said the company closed on the property May 10, after being awarded the contract at $250,000. That lot, formerly a nursing home, was purchased by the borough in 2018 for about $146,000, and later demolished the building through the Washington County Redevelopment Authority.

Scarmazzi, whose spouse, Lisa Scarmazzi, is the borough’s economic development coordinator, said he saw the space as an opportunity to “create new residential property” and bring people to Canonsburg.

“We’re townies,” Scarmazzi said about he and his wife. “We grew up here, we live here and we believe in this town.”

The plan is for eight luxury townhomes in a row on the lot. Each three-story unit will have a first-floor, two-car garage and 1,800 square feet total. The price range for monthly rent will be between $2,300 and $2,400. Scarmazzi said the homes should be ready for occupancy by February.

Scarmazzi said the look of the townhouses will be “in character with” the downtown buildings along Pike Street. He said they’ve added details to the windows, trims and roofline, so the new structure doesn’t look out of place in that location, near the borough office building and Rite Aid plaza.

“As we’ve seen some of these bigger events happening in Canonsburg, like the Christmas festival, I look at Lawrenceville and think, ‘Why wouldn’t people want to live in Canonsburg?’” Scarmazzi said. “I think it’s a hidden gem.”

Council President R.T. Bell said council had considered turning the lot into additional parking spaces or possible retail space. When members heard Scarmazzi’s plan, they thought it was a good one.

“We just didn’t want someone to buy the property and just let it sit there,” Bell said. “We wanted to get people who are interested in Canonsburg.”

Bell said out of the bids received, Scarmazzi Homes seemed to be the most committed and “serious about developing something.”

“When we saw their bid and their plans and how soon they were going to start doing it, it fit in with the vision council had for that area,” Bell said. “It’s going to be great for the downtown.”

The goal is to attract young families who aren’t quite ready to buy a house and are looking for an “urban-type feel,” Scarmazzi said.

“We’re looking to attract young people, who want to be able to walk to a bar or restaurant and frequent the shops in the downtown,” he said.

Councilman Eric Chandler said he believes the townhomes will achieve that goal.

“Younger families want to come to a small community and be a part of it,” he said. “People want to live in Canonsburg, they want to shop in Canonsburg and raise a family in Canonsburg. This is just another added piece to revitalizing the downtown.”