Stonecrest Golf Course in New Beaver Borough soon will be home to a new $7 million business park, county and state officials announced Tuesday afternoon.
The project, proposed by Pittsburgh area developer John LaCarte on the 213-acre tract, promises to bring more than 1,000 jobs, according to officials who worked collectively to attract the enterprise to the area.
Lawrence County Commissioner Chairman Morgan Boyd on Tuesday called the venture “a massive win for Lawrence County.”
He credited the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp. for helping to pull the deal together, and state Sen. Elder Vogel, state Rep. Aaron Bernstine and the commissioners for working together to push for more funding initiatives for the county.
The Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded a $2 million Business in Our Sites grant and a $3 million Business in Our Sites loan for the development of the future Stonecrest Business Park, which for many years was the site of a popular golf course.
Of the 213 acre-tract, 110 acres are developable, and the site is accessible to Interstate 79 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. It also is less than a 30-minute drive north of the Shell Cracker plant.
“The development of the Stonecrest Business Park in the southern part of the county will build upon other developments already happening in Beaver County and around the Pittsburgh International Airport,” Bernstine said in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon. “This will create more businesses and a significant amount of new jobs, which adds up to strengthening the economy. Approximately 3.3 million Pennsylvanians, including thousands from our area, find themselves looking for work due to the coronavirus pandemic. This project will help the unemployed tremendously.”
LaCarte, president of LaCarte Enterprises Inc., plans to develop up to 1.5 million square feet of commercial and industrial space. In addition, Business in Our Sites loan funds will be used for site excavation, grading construction of roads, streets and engineering. The grant funds will be used to bring utilities to the site. The total cost of the project is almost $7.5 million.
“By building a local hub for businesses to grow, we can expand our tax base and lessen the burden on homeowners,” Bernstine said. “This is a model we can duplicate for all of our communities across the 10th District.”
The Commonwealth Financing Authority Business in Our Sites funding empowers communities to attract growing and expanding businesses by helping them build an inventory of ready sites. This program is for speculative projects only. Funds cannot be used for projects that are primarily residential or recreational. Sites must be previously used property or undeveloped property that is planned and zoned for development.
“We couldn’t be happier to have another developer in Lawrence County,” Boyd said Tuesday afternoon. “The board of commissioners is looking forward to facilitating this project.”
“Mr. LaCarte has a proven record of success,” he continued, noting that LaCarte has a successful business park development called Alta Vista in Fallowfield Township in Washington County, and he is owner of the Stoney’s Brewing Co.
The economic development corporation was the impetus behind the project, and it shepherded the process in Lawrence County. The prospect came to fruition after numerous calls with New Beaver Borough, the Mohawk Area School District and other entities, Boyd said, commenting, “We’ve been working on it for awhile. It’s great to see it come to fruition. We couldn’t be happier.”
LaCarte has said that the golf course will remain in operation for as long as possible until the project begins, Boyd noted.
“This development will open up our entire southwest corridor,” he said. “I know that part of his plan is that he’s looking to tap in to downstream development coming from the cracker plant in Beaver County.”
The loan and the grant approvals made the deal more of a reality, he said.