After pursuing buying the Pittsburgh Cut Flower (PCF) property for three years, the Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) has learned the land is no longer for sale.
The 180 acres in Richland Township were developed in 1922 by the then Company President Fred Burki. The dozens of greenhouses on the property grew 2.5 million roses every year for about 100 years.
“The last time the cut flower operation was active was back in the early 90’s so since them there were dozens of greenhouses, and garages, and homes, and different types of buildings and boilers that have just been sitting for the past 20-30 years just kind of rotting away and it was a huge eye sore and a blight issue for Richmond Township,” said Land Trust President and CEO, Chris Beichner.
ALT had raised the $2.4 million asking price through public and private funding sources. “It would have been a large green space, not an active use park with ball fields or anything like that, but there’s existing trails on the land so we would have opened up the property to the public for hiking and biking and bird watching and potentially hunting,” said Beichner.
The funds raised to acquire the property will be used for other conservation projects and the money from individuals will be restricted to use in Richland Township.
“We are very disappointed as well as the community and the elected officials who have been really great to, but we still hold out hope too. That land is a hard piece of land to develop and we’re hopeful that they will come back to us in the future and we can start these negotiations back up again,” said Beichner.
In February ALT purchased 8.4 acres of land adjacent to the PCF property. The ALT is continuing to look for other properties around the Pine Creek Water Shed possibly to connect to North Park to make 1,000 acres of green space in the area.