Highmark plans to build a huge Wexford Medical Mall on 15.6 acres along Route 19 in Pine Township.
Pine Township's Planning Commission reviewed plans for the 174,300-square-foot building located near the Route 19-Wallace Road Extension intersection Monday and voted to recommend that the Board of Supervisors grant preliminary and final approval.
The planning commission is an advisory body that makes recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.
The land is near North Way Christian Community, which previously owned the property.
The building is expected to house a medical clinic, offices, retail sales and services as well as a cafe. The entire building will sit on top of an open parking level. Altogether, more than 700 parking spaces are planned.
The planning commissioners expressed concern that the building's facade consists of prefabricated steel wall panels, which are prohibited by the township's code.
Architect Jeff Young of Astorino, representing the developer, countered that the facade consists of prefinished insulated metal panels and the township's code allows metal.
The planning commissioners also discussed traffic concerns and recommended that the supervisors require a traffic study after the building is occupied to verify that the assumptions in the initial traffic study are accurate.
The "after study" also would look at the need for an additional northbound left-turn lane at the intersection of Route 19 and Wallace Road Extension.
Planning Commission Vice Chair Pasquale Avolio said he did not think the facade fit in with the community, specifically mentioning the nearby Village at Pine.
"It's too much of an industrial type look," Avolio said.
He also questioned the property's tax-exempt status; it was previously owned by North Way Christian Community.
Check out some of today's other top stories here.