Aug. 15—GREENSBURG — Represented by Economic Development Corporation Director Bryan Robbins, the new owners of the old St. Mary’s property in Greensburg recently requested a 5 year tax abatement for the “Heritage Hill” project.
Since 2016, St. Mary’s Parish has been seeking a buyer for the old location of their church near the McKee and S. East Streets intersection.
Developers Evan and Emily Manship began preparations in 2020 to purchase the property and turn it into a comprehensive event venue to be called “Heritage Hill.”
“We want to repurpose a really neat structure, a community staple, to breathe new fresh life into this site,” Evan Manship said.
The property includes four structures — the old church, the school, the education building and the rectory — on roughly two acres of land.
The church will be utilized as the formal event venue, and the education building is planned for prep and storage use. The land will be used for parking, and the school itself will not be used at all, according to Manship.
“That school building needs lots and lots of love, and won’t be used until years later,” he said.
Phase one of the project consists of turning the church and the education building into the venue proper. In the second phase, the rectory will serve as a bed-and-breakfast/short term rental for the families utilizing the venue.
“We want to keep everyone on site, to avoid running back and forth to the Hampton Inn,” Manship said.
Phase three will be the demolition of the old school building.
“We’re holding off on that because the structure is appealing, and has meaning in the community,” Manship said.
Changes on the interior of the church will include a central grand staircase as a main focal point for photo opportunities.
Manship emphasized the high cost of such a venture, but assured the Greensburg City Council that “we’re putting our life savings into this. We have a tremendous amount of capital set aside for this.”
He showed the Council a budget for the process, and assured them that the venture is worth it.
Manship talked about his wife Emily’s history with the property saying “not only Emily’s father, but her father’s father’s father was involved with St. Mary’s.”
“This project has become important to our whole family,” he added.
Manship continued, emphasizing the positive impact on the local event venue/wedding industry and the partnerships created thus far in the project’s process. He also detailed an example of how much money the finished project would bring to the community as well.
He summed up the presentation saying “event space in the manner in which we intend to provide it does not exist in this area.”
After a brief discussion of the Heritage Hill website, it was voted unanimously that Heritage Hill LLC. will be allowed a five year tax abatement.
Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-651-0876 or email [email protected]