Mid-June Buzz

There has been a surprising amount of buzz surrounding the news that Shell closed on the land that on which it proposes to build an ethane cracker. I think that’s a sign of how thirsty we are for news about the decision. From the standpoint of the decision to proceed, the closing is kind of a non-event. Shell can still decide against the project for the time being or walk away and sell the property to someone else.

The bigger news about the cracker is that the needed permits are reported to be in hand. I assume that means that there has been informal word given, since it seems unlikely that DEP would have granted approval without someone announcing it. This, if true, is a big deal because it removes virtually all obstacles to the decision. Shell still wants to prove the long-term sustainability of the gas supply (something of a no-brainer) and then agree to invest in Monaca instead of other capital projects. So far, any guesses I’ve heard about when the final call will be are just that: guesses.

The last few weeks have seen the start of a bunch of small projects that have been around for a while. Village Theater Co. chose A. Martini & Co. to build it $2 million new theater in Sewickley. That’s the third new building to get underway in Sewickley this month. Oberg Industries awarded W. K. Thomas & Associates the contract to build its 67,000 sq. ft. expansion. Chapman Properties is getting ready to start construction on a new 23,575 sq. ft. Skyzone trampoline center in Monroeville.

In news of more companies entering the Pittsburgh market, Reynolds Construction opened an office in the RIDC O’Hara. The new office is located at 634 Alpha Drive, Suite 1100, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. The Pittsburgh office will be led for now by company President Jeff Merritt.

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