ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — After a couple generations of family events and visitors, the North Hills building – formerly known as a Holiday Inn and then a La Quinta Inn – is quiet now.
Perched above the McKnight Siebert Shopping Center, its days as a hotel over, but its days as a senior retirement center are ahead.
“We’re definitely better off with a fully occupied senior high rise than we are with a half-filled La Quinta or Holiday Inn,” said Ross Township Commissioner Stephen Korbel.
For Ross Township, it means getting a valuable piece of McKnight Road property supporting the community again.
Korbel: “With respect to increasing property taxes and revenues to the township.”
KDKA’s John Shumway: “So you’re going to get more money out of it?”
Korbel: “Absolutely, absolutely.”
Hamister Hospitality group out of Buffalo, New York, has purchased the eight-plus acres, worth over $8 million, and plans to bring its 39 years of experience to what it will call Northland Heights.
“Ross Township is a fairly affluent market for what we need when it comes to senior housing, and as a result, that make it a good fit for what we do,” said Dan Hamister, the company’s vice president chief investment officer.
The hotel offered 145 rooms.
But when Northland Heights opens, Hamister says, “It will have about 120 units in it, that’s a mix between independent, assisted and memory care.”
The first floor will turn into the dining area, beauty salon, café, and activity space with construction slated to start late next spring.
“Probably a year later we will be opening the doors,” Hamister said.
Of course this does leave the McKnight corridor once again short on hotel space, until a second hotel opens in the McCandless Crossing development.
“It is a concern, but we can do very little, I think from a township perspective, to encourage hotel development,” said Korbel.