By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A sometimes controversial piece of land along McKnight Road is getting renewed interest from developers.

Walmart is selling the property, even as a new idea surfaces that could bypass the roadblock that kept if from building.

The massive concrete slab where thousands of feet walked during its days as a Pace Warehouse Club, and then as a Sam’s club sits open to the seasons and sprouts of weeds rising through its cracks.

Just down the hill overlooking McKnight road the even field of grass gives no hint of the sombrero wearing birthday celebrations that once highlighted nights at Chi Chi’s on the spot.

Their time spent dormant is now measured in years but Ross Township Commission President Stephen Korbel says, “The property is for sale and developers are looking at it to decide what could go there.”

But Korbel points out the same sticking point that kept Walmart from developing the site hasn’t changed, “The fact that there’s not access to the site from Northbound 19\McKnight Road.”

Past suggestions of another traffic light, or a fly over ramp and as much non-starters today as they were a few years ago. Korbel says, “We’re working on potential solutions to that problem to provide northbound access.”

The ideal plan would be something that would allow northbound traffic to turn left onto Seibert and then right into the property. Korbel sees a possibility, “There may be an opportunity to use the McKnight Seibert intersection if some current facilities would relocate somewhere else.” That’s not very subtle since the only facility in that path is the U.S. Post Office’s McKnight Road branch.

As Lisa Novotny came out of the post office after dropping off her mother’s mail she reacted to the idea this way, “I don’t like that idea because the post office has been here for years and it’s a pivotal spot.”

Adelyn Rogalla says the McKnight post office is perfectly placed, “It’s ability to get people in and out quickly is what makes this a very nice post office to come to.”

Kobel believe another just as accessible location could be found, “I would love to be able to work with the federal government to find a new location for that post office in order to open that piece of property from the northbound side.”

Jim Cusick worries, “You are just going to create more traffic with whatever they put up there.”

So far there have been no formal talks between Ross Township and the U.S. Postal Service.

The postal service did not respond to KDKA’s request for comment on the idea.

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