SOUTH FAYETTE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — For years, the Newbury Market development in South Fayette Township has waited for a burst of development.
The roads and infrastructure are in place and hopes have been high that UPMC’s plan to build a 90-bed acute care hospital would spark a burst of building.
“This was just approved in August, so here it is a month later and UPMC changes their minds, so we’re very surprised,” says South Fayette Community Development Director Andrea Iglar. “The hospital was sold as something that was going to further spur development. We were just as surprised as the public when we heard they were going to withdraw because they had spent months convincing the community the hospital was going to be a benefit.”
In a statement, UPMC said instead of the Newbury site it is “pursuing other, more significant strategic options.”
“Well, I think that’s disappointing,” says Carol Gottlieb, whose husband is a UPMC regular. “He spends a lot of time going downtown for care. It’s not that it’s inconvenient, but it would be nice to have it local.”
It’s not that there are no hospitals serving the South Hills. St. Clair and Jefferson are well-established in the area, and Art Weinblum worries a UPMC facility would be disruptive.
“I think they are going to hurt whatever hospital is out here like St. Clair or Jefferson,” he said.
UPMC in its statement says the hospital giant is looking at other facilities in the South Hills: “We will soon announce more specific plans of a sophisticated set of facilities to better serve our patients.”
While hospitals often locate near their own or a competitor’s facility, there is no indication where UPMC is considering building. The statement also does not set out any type of a timeline for construction or target date for opening.