Demolition crews have already begun razing the former Ascot Motor buildings near the corner of Walnut and Thorn streets to make way for new development.
Peter Friday, president of Forbes Trail Development Co., and the project manager, tracked the sale of the Ascot Motor property for three years. The property in the heart of Sewickley had been on and off the market for years before First Commonwealth Bank acquired the lots in a sherriff's sale earlier this year. Friday's company, Thorn-Walnut Management, LLC, purchased the properties in June from the bank.
“I cannot think of anything more exciting from a real estate development perspective,” Friday said in a news release. “This has all of the elements required in pursuing a project -- extraordinary location, good value, dynamic uses and enormous community upside.”
Phase I of Village Square should begin in the fourth quarter of 2012 with the development of a three-story office building located on Thorn Street.
Thorn-Walnut Management, LLC is proposing a mixed-use project that will include Class-A office buildings, specialty retail, a parking garage and possibly housing.
As part of the project, the developer has offered to sell some property to Sewickley Borough at a cost for the parking facility and to donate the air rights to the Village Theater Co. on a portion of the former Ascot property.
The group has raised close to $500,000 in its efforts to build a family movie theater in downtown Sewickley and plans to continue raising funds so that they can exercise the right to build a two-screen movie theater.
Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe said Thorn-Walnut Management is demonstrating their commitment to the community far exceeds their personal business investment.
"This is the type of public-private partnership that can create a transformative change in our Village,” Jeffe said in a news release. “I am looking forward to working with them."