The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 3, 2014

New life for old building

Primary Health to help fill long vacant garage

SHARON — After almost 40 years as the butt of local jokes, Sharon’s parking garage is poised to be filled with vehicles the way it was supposed to be in the 1970s.

Regular daily use never worked out for the five-level garage after late developer William H. Cafaro backed out of a mall project on the west side of town that was supposed to lure thousands of shoppers downtown.

That was awful news for Sharon taxpayers, who were already on the hook for the garage.

Opened in 1976 after the city had borrowed nearly $3 million from bond holders to build it, the garage gradually fell into disrepair. The city twice refinanced the debt that now is scheduled to be paid off in 2025.

Sharon’s finances brightened considerably in the last year or so when Primary Health Network took an interest in the garage. Its executives told city officials Primary Health wants to lease the adjacent garage as part of its plan to consolidate many of its local operations.

Primary Health unveiled its five-story, $20 million development earlier this year and negotiated a lease for the garage that Sharon council approved two weeks ago.

The city began an upgrade of the garage last summer with the help of a state grant. That paid for concrete repairs, security fencing and lighting on the first two levels. The $588,000 project tapped all the state and local money the city could muster to reopen the garage.

Under terms of the 28-year lease, Primary Health Network will pay for elevator repairs and install lighting in the upper three levels.

“They’re going to finish the project we started,” City Manager Scott Andrejchak said of the network’s project. “They’ll be breathing new life into the structure which we weren’t able to do.”

The turnaround for that part of downtown Sharon didn’t seem remotely possible when he started working for the city in August 2011, Andrejchak said.

That changed before long when Primary Health’s John D. “Jack” Laeng, chief executive officer, and Drew Pierce, chief financial officer, asked Andrejchak for city help with their building plans.

Construction is expected to begin this fall on the medical-professional office building at the corner of Vine Avenue and Pitt Street. It’s expected to open in 2016.

“I know the garage was a sore spot for a long time but now it’s an asset,” Andrejchak said. “The city is absolutely pleased that we have Primary Health Network as a neighbor and a partner. This is good for everybody. There will be plenty of parking for their patients and employees and for shoppers and everyone else as well.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.

    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.

    July 25, 2014