In the early 2000’s, Fayette County held 270 acres of property on the edge of Uniontown, Pennsylvania in North and South Union Townships, which had not been used by the county in years. Therefore, the county had charged the Redevelopment Authority of Fayette County (RACF) with the mission of repurposing the property by developing a Marketing Implementation Strategy based on economic development return objectives that included: job creation, increased tax base, and an overall improved quality of life for the citizens of Fayette County. Wampler Development Company was hired to develop and implement the plan.
Wampler advised the RACF to remove a Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) that had been placed on the property earlier. By doing so, use restrictions required by the KOZ would be lifted, paving the path for a broader and more market-driven collection of mixed land uses that would accomplish the objectives of the Marketing Implementation Strategy. Wampler recognized the need for a major development that would serve as a center of gravity for the property and create the necessary infrastructure to spur additional new development. As such, Wampler represented the RACF in its negotiations of a new Walmart Super Center that would replace the existing Walmart in the community. This Walmart Super Center was the perfect center of gravity for the property as it resulted in major investments in road improvements, traffic signals, storm water improvements, expanded sanitary sewage, the relocation of overhead power lines, and major excavations of the sites, which all benefitted other lands controlled by the RACF. All of this new infrastructure resulted in the development of office buildings, other retail, services, restaurants, hotels, healthcare, automobile dealerships, and more.
Following the development of the new Walmart Super Center, Wampler purchased 8 acres of adjacent commercial land fronting State Route 40, serviced by two traffic signals. On this parcel, Wampler installed a public street named “Synergy Drive” that included underground electric, gas lines, water lines, sanitary sewage, and storm water retention. Wampler also subdivided the 8 acres into five parcels and built a PNC Bank branch, Arby’s, and Verizon Communications store. On the remaining two parcels, Wampler developed an $18 million select-service Hilton Garden Inn hotel totaling 119 rooms. The hotel opened in January 2016 had has won several brand standard awards and leads the market in both rate and occupancy.
All this development activity fulfilled the mission of the RACF and today a vast variety of jobs, business, and services have resulted in an improved quality of life. These developments also increased real estate taxes supporting schools, public works, and safety.