By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Hermitage saw significant development in 2012, City Manager Gary P. Hinkson said, and provided somewhat of a rebound from 2011.
The most notable growth occurred in the retail/commercial sector and Hinkson said he expects that to continue, but also is looking forward to marked industrial expansion and steady residential development.
The city issued 285 building permits for $15,635,903 in new construction in 2012, up from 230 permits and $12,113,055 in 2011.
The commercial corridor of the city changed its look in 2012 with McDonald’s and Chipotle joining Tim Hortons/Cold Stone Creamery on the former Hermitage Middle School property, and Levey and Co. of Akron building the infrastructure for a retail development at the Shenango Valley Freeway and South Hermitage Road that will be anchored by a Kohl’s department store.
Advance Auto Parts brought a new national chain to East State Street, while Hermitage Square added Yumberries and Hermitage Hills welcomed Planet Fitness.
In terms of reinvestment, Red Lobster, Dunkin’ Donuts and Montrose Buick GMC Cadillac completed renovations, and Mel Grata Chevrolet built a new showroom.
“Our planning department is in multiple discussions regarding potential commercial/retail development and redevelopment projects,” Hinkson said, adding that Hermitage Planning Commission, which reviews subdivisions and land development plans and didn’t have a lot to do in 2012, could be busy this spring.
The institutional sector saw Mercer County Regional Council of Governments adding onto its two building on Virginia Road and St. John’s Orthodox Church building a church on Morefield Road, both projects topping $1 million.
Residential development has slowed to just seven new home permits in each of 2010, 2011 and 2012, and there are no new large home development plans on the horizon. However, “I believe that steady build out will continue in the existing newer developments,” Hinkson said.
Those existing newer developments include Camelot Estates on Virginia Road, Pierce Bluffs on Lamor Road and Hidden Acres South on Royal Oaks Court, all of which saw new homes being built in 2012.
“I also believe that during 2013 there will be some expansion projects in the industrial corridor that will create additional jobs for area residents and we continue to be excited about activity at LindenPointe,” he said.