Gap approved for car wash at the old New Kensington Kmart site

A developer will be able to continue construction of a car wash on the site of a former Kmart on Tarentum Bridge Road in New Kensington.

By a 2: 1 vote, the city’s three-member Zoning Hearing Board on Thursday approved 100 Riverview’s request for a waiver for the car wash, which is otherwise not allowed in the zoning zone. general commercial C-2.

The project will have to go to the city’s planning commission for a subdivision and a review of its land use plan before construction can begin, said Tony Males, the city’s zoning officer.

These two processes can be done separately or at the same time, Males said. When this will happen was not known.

It’s also unclear whether or not that will have to go to New Kensington Council, Males said. He would only need council approval if he was pulling more than 1,000 vehicles a day.

In its waiver request, 100 Riverview said the car wash is a critical part of its $ 1.8 million proposal to redevelop the old Kmart site at Riverview Plaza. The department store, which closed in January 2019, is being demolished.

Although the waiver was approved unconditionally, Males said there had been discussions about the existence of some sort of fence or vegetation buffer along Craigdell Road, at the rear of the ownership, which he said the developer agreed to.

Advocating for variance, Males said the developer claimed that the shape of the floor with its rear corner and retaining walls creates an area with limited retail development potential. They said the car wash will also improve safety by creating better traffic through the mall.

Besides the car wash, the property plans submitted to the city show a grocery store attached to the linear mall and a stand-alone building with three retail spaces in part of the parking lot.

As a member of the Zoning Hearing Panel asked if Aldi was the grocer, Males said the developer said he did not have a contract with the company or any other at the moment. .

The approval for the project comes just over a year after the board unanimously rejected a waiver for a car wash across Tarentum Bridge Road. In this case, Males said the claimant had not shown any difficulty in justifying a waiver.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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