Southern Beltway driving development to Starpointe

Mike Jones

Construction of the Southern Beltway is driving development to Starpointe Business Park in northern Washington County.

Aragra Technologies, a manufacturing company that specializes in building circuit boards for medical devices, is planning to construct a 50,000-square-foot building that will eventually employ as many as 220 workers.

Dan Reitz, the executive director for the Washington County Council on Economic Development, announced the plans during Wednesday’s agenda meeting with the county commissioners. He said the company’s subsidiary, Innovative Electronics, plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from Green Tree to the county-owned industrial park in Hanover Township.

The company will eventually move its 70 current employees and hire another 30 people to work at the manufacturing plant.

The company is expected to double the number of jobs and could expand the plant to 100,000 square feet, Reitz said.

“We want more manufacturing (at Starpointe),” Reitz said after the meeting. “We always have.”

A company official reached by cellphone after the meeting said they would have more information on the plant next week.

The announcement comes as several other businesses are looking at three other available parcels at the industrial business park. Reitz credited the recent interest in the business park to the Southern Beltway being constructed nearby. After decades of planning and inaction, construction finally began on the 13-mile, $800 million highway in 2014.

The toll road, which is expected to be completed next year, will take motorists from Interstate 79 near Southpointe to Pittsburgh International Airport. The highway connector will pass over Route 22 near Starpointe, allowing easy access for both workers and business deliveries.

“All of a sudden, we’re getting all sorts of phone calls,” Reitz said. “We were ahead of our time. It’s taken 20 years to get here, but we’re getting here.”

The three remaining lots left are the final pieces of the second phase of the Starpointe development, which opened in the early 2000s. Earth-moving work for a subsequent phase elsewhere in the park is completed and should be ready for development soon, Reitz said.

Retiz, who is retiring from his leadership position soon, gave the presentation with Thomas Hartswick, who will serve as the new executive director for the County Council on Economic Development.