HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – The city of Hermitage is getting another million dollars toward a major transformation.
The grant is from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for what city leaders call a town center project. They envision big changes for what is now the Shenango Valley Mall, as well as land to the north.
The idea started several years ago as officials looked for ways to save the floundering Shenango Valley Mall. At that time, city leaders in Hermitage gathered input from the community.
‘The top item from the public was we would like to see a town center development,” said Hermitage City Manager Gary Hinkson.
The result has been the creation of a couple of different concept drawings using the 54-acre mall property as well as another 23 acres to the north. Officials then started reaching out to potential developers.
“This is what we envision in a town center, a mixed-use town center, restaurants, retail, office, possibly residential,” Hinkson said.
As of right now, officials have received about $5.5 million in grant money that could support the project with infrastructure improvements, pedestrian areas and demolition work on the existing mall. Hinkson stresses the project would need to be privately funded, including purchasing the old mall property.
“Our vision would dramatically change the appearance of that entire area,” Hinkson said.
Hinkson added that the pandemic has impacted city plans and has put things on hold for over a year.
Officials hope to find a developer who shares their vision later this year, even it doesn’t look exactly like the concept drawings. In the meantime, city officials will continue to look for more grant money.