South Hills Transit Project Any Closer?

South Hills Transit Project Any Closer?

Nearly six years ago the borough manager of Castle Shannon stated "it appears the developer [of a proposed transit village at the Shannon trolley lot] has finalized both site development and financing structure". Three years after that the former Governor of Pennsylvania released $4 million in redevelopment funds to the project. And this week Allegheny County Council expects to act on a resolution to join the borough and Keystone Oaks School District in a tax increment financing plan that would allow incremental tax revenues to be diverted from the development to pay for up-front financing help.

The project does have staying power. Consider that the adjacent municipality of Mt Lebanon flirted with TIF plans for both the Galleria Mall at for a site on Washington Road that would have been a mixed use development.

According to the resolution’s language the site is expected to include "construction and lease of residential apartments, commercial space, and community parking of the [trolley station]". The resolution is non-binding and only authorizes an appointee of the County to work in conjunction with representatives of the other two taxing bodies on the TIF plan.

The benefits are enumerated as such: stimulation of private investment, increases in property values, creation of employment opportunities, and improvement of surrounding properties. Of course, for the County and the other taxing bodies they are hoping that these benefits are in addition to what is already there and don’t result from activity shifting around or to the detriment of existing activity.