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Bridge to tie into Waynesboro bypass expected to be built by fall

July 10, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- Red-and-white signs with the words "lot available" line a stretch of North Welty Road that will someday take vehicles onto a $16.7 million relief route being built north of Waynesboro.

Nine commercial lots remain available for purchase behind the Martin's Food Market in Wayne Heights Mall. Developers said one has been sold to Hagerstown ophthalmologist Dr. Jerzy Komilow.

Town houses developed by The Rachuba Group and Ryan Homes dot the landscape behind the commercial lots.

About 20 acres of land on the west side of North Welty Road remain largely untouched, as they will stay in perpetuity once Antietam Meadows Park is complete.

Town leaders and developers gathered Wednesday evening for a barbecue to celebrate the changes at the former Carl Diller farm. They shared food, conversation and music while talking about the future of the project.

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"Hopefully soon, within the next year, North Welty Road will be built and tied into the bypass," said William Aiello, a partner in WAM Enterprises, which is selling the commercial lots.

In fact, North Welty Road Extended reaches almost to its intersection with what will be the relief route, commonly known as Washington Township Boulevard. Remaining projects include a final coat of paving for North Welty Road Extended and construction of a $2.7 million bridge over the Antietam Creek.

"They expect to have the bridge done this fall," Washington Township (Pa.) Manager Mike Christopher said.

If that happens, Washington Township Boulevard could be opened from Old Forge Road to Gehr Road - and maybe even Pa. 997 - next summer, Christopher said.

Lobar Site Development Inc. started staging for the three-span bridge this week and will soon start construction, Washington Township Supervisors Chairman Carroll Sturm said.

Sturm said it is rewarding to see North Welty Road wind through the commercial lots and around the town houses.

"We've been working on the road for quite a while, and it's finally making some progress," he said.

WAM Enterprises pulled out of its contract on the Barry Pifer farm, so township crews have been creating the portion of North Welty Road Extended from the Diller property line to the relief route, Sturm said. Any future developer of the Pifer farm will be assessed fees to reimburse the township's expenditures, he said.

William Aiello and his business partner George Lulos first came to Washington Township nearly eight years ago, planning to build the town's first Wal-Mart in about 18 months. That store got shifted to an alternate site through a different developer, but WAM Enterprises, based in Camp Hill, Pa., continued to work with the Diller farm.

"When you're in the development business, hopefully you've got more than one plan," Aiello said. "We've been here a long time, we like Waynesboro, and we're trying to do other projects here."

Lulos said the nine commercial lots, which are each about 1.7 acres, are being marketed broadly through various methods.

"We think Dr. Komilow is an example of a very obvious type of commercial establishment that would find this very beneficial," Lulos said, calling the eye doctor an "emblematic use" for the property.

Lulos said he expects that the lots will sell to entities offering professional services or support to other businesses.

"They're going to be right in the middle of hundreds of houses" from the Antietam Commons development alone, Lulos said. "We think there are a couple of thousand (residential) lots up for grabs in this community."

Lulos anticipates that greater interest in the lots will form once people see Komilow's building under construction later this year.

"We know the community is growing and progressing, but it's still subject to laws of the market," he said.

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