Filling the void

Borough accepts sealed bids until March 4

Published by James Cressman, Date: March 3, 2024
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The vacant lot at 100 S. Main St. Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Slippery Rock Borough is currently accepting sealed bids for the borough owned vacant lot at 100 S. Main St. in downtown Slippery Rock.

The lot housed First National Bank for years. Most recently, it has been utilized for town events, such as the yearly borough tree lighting.

The vacant property is listed as a commercial overlay (C-1) which allows for businesses such as bakeries, banks, and personal and professional offices.

According to Borough Manager Christian Laskey, per borough regulations, any new building must match the look of the rest of main street.

“Whatever is potentially to be built would have to match that brick façade.” Laskey said.

Laskey referenced Allied Dental Group LLC located at 234 S Main St.

“That’s a newer building within south main street that took the same kind of tan, gray brick to match with the surrounding buildings.” Laskey said.

The property is zoned for residential use except on the first floor of the premises.

“Through the overlay district you really want to see business on the first floor, residential on the second floor” Laskey said.

Something many Slippery Rock University (SRU) students would celebrate is a new restaurant. Per zoning regulations on a C-1 property eateries such as, restaurants, delicatessens and coffee shops would be permitted to build on the property.

According to Laskey, the only restriction on an incoming restaurant is drive-thru windows are restricted.

“That’s going to be a hot topic, because there are a lot of people who [question] what is a typical drive-thru window.” Laskey said.

After 2020, many businesses started offering “pick-up” windows for convenience of mobile ordering or Door Dash.

“This is something we may have to address in the future but as it stands right now, there’s no drive-thrus permitted.” Laskey said.

Other restrictions on potential buildings include height, automotive sales, service and fueling.

Per zoning restrictions any potential building cannot stand taller than eight stories, something Laskey says just recently changed from three.

According to Laskey, when the borough created the overlay district there were three gas stations located in the heart of Slippery Rock. Sheetz, Quick-Fil and Marathon each adorned a corner lot. There was little use for another gas station to move into the vacant lot.

Nestled between the vacant lot and Elephant-8 is a sidewalk allowing pedestrians a walkway connecting main street with the parking lot located behind the south main street businesses. Laskey wanted to ensure that it remained open for pedestrian traffic.

“Whoever buys [the property] is responsible for maintenance on the sidewalk, but they have to keep that open for pedestrian traffic.” Laskey said.

As for other business that would be allowed to operate in a C-1 zoned district, there is a potential for a wide range of businesses that could develop the vacant lot.

  • Movie theaters
  • Social halls
  • Financial institutions
  • Bed-and-breakfast

Any bids must be marked “sealed bid” and submitted no later than March 4 at 3 p.m. Those bids will then be opened during the public borough meeting on March 5 at 7 p.m.

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James is a senior Strategic Communication and Media major with concentrations in digital media production and multimedia journalism. He also minors in film & media studies. James serves as the News Editor at The Rocket and President of Lambda Pi Eta: the National Communication Association’s Honor Society. James is a movie enthusiast, a “Star Wars” fanatic and a fan of all things comedy. James previously served as the President of WSRU-TV (2022-2024).

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