Questions remain as Patton Crossing development project nears approval stage

A major Patton Township development project more than two years in the works could be approved as early as next month, following a presentation of the revised master plan.

North Atherton Street Associates — led by developers Bob Poole, Ara Kervandjian and Heidi Nicholas — presented plans on Wednesday for the proposed site, the former location of Penn State Mobile Home Park. Before approval, the Patton Township Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing next month to hear resident feedback, one of the last opportunities for comment before moving forward.

The mixed-use development plans, which began in 2017, proposes a mix of residential and commercial buildings. John Crouse, an architect who helped design the final plan, said the development could contain a grocery stores, a bank, restaurants, retail stores, office space and 36 affordable housing units.

“It’s going to be a development where people can live,” Crouse said. “They can work, shop and play.”

Describing the proposed development as being “a place to go,” Crouse said Patton Crossing will serve the greater community by providing space for recreation.

“The idea of this development is to bring people together,” he said.

The development is set to be finished in phases, but it’s unclear how long it will take to complete. Supervisor Jessica Buckland asked developers to prioritize affordable housing options. Residents of Patton Crossing would have access to a pool and fitness center. Parking is spread throughout the site. With lanes for both vehicles and bikes, an access road with Atherton Street is planned to line up with Woodycrest Street. A controlled access road is set to connect with the development on Park Forest Avenue.

In June, Waters Retail Group presented a sketch plan for another development project to the board — a plan that includes two retail stores, a restaurant, a hotel and townhouses. Concerned with connectivity, Buckland wanted the two sites to blend together.

Poole said North Atherton Associates have spoken with representatives from Waters Retail Group, but the two companies have not collaborated on their plans.

During public comment, several residents voiced concerns about affordable housing, stormwater management, traffic and the overall project’s timeline. One resident said he was frustrated with the master plan not having more concrete answers.

Poole said construction on the 26 acres of land will take time, but developers will take feedback and demand into account when working to solidify the schedule.

“We would love to be able to develop this, because we paid for the land already, as quick as we possible can,” Poole said.

The township’s planning commission recommended that the board of supervisors approve the development plan. Before voting on its approval, the board will hold a public hearing during its Sept. 25 meeting at 7 p.m.

Marley Parish reports on local government for the Centre Daily Times. She grew up in Slippery Rock and graduated from Allegheny College.