Nearly a year has passed since demolition crews ripped down the former Shoppes on Bower Hill and the plans to build a new Walgreens or any retail business at the site seem to have fizzled.
There still are chain-linked fences around piles of rubble where the popular strip mall once stood, and the area has become an eyesore and parking nightmare for people who work at St. Clair Hospital and the rehab center, bank, orthopedic doctor and medical services building.
Scott Township leaders don’t know why the project isn’t moving forward and Walgreens no longer seems to have any interest in building anything on the location at Bower Hill and North Wren.
“We don’t know what’s going on,” Scott Township Manager Denise Fitzgerald said. “I’m very frustrated.”
To add to that frustration, the removal of the strip mall has wiped out thousands of building property tax dollars from the municipal and Chartiers Valley School District coffers.
The property should bring about $30,000 a year in township taxes and $115,000 for the school district. Instead, the land taxes and remaining building are estimated to only be bringing in less than $50,000 combined.
“That always affects the bottom line because they did get a reduction in the amount of real estate they’re paying,” Fitzgerald said. “We would love for them to build something, but we can’t force them.”
Fitzgerald said that Bob Fisher, who is the township’s code enforcement officer, has contacted them to see if they need anything to get the project rolling. Each time, they’ve declined, Fitzgerald said.
However, the township is now sending them a notice that they need to repair the damaged fence and clean up the rubble.
“We have sent them a notice to clean up the site,” Fitzgerald said. “But that still doesn’t solve the bigger problem of getting it back on the tax rolls as being a viable business.”
Neither Walgreens officials nor Bowen Development, which owns the site, could be reached for comment on the situation.