By Margaret L. Smykla
News of a proposed apartment building at the corner of Hot Metal and Sidney streets was the sole presentation at the June 11 meeting of the South Side Planning Forum.
The presenters were project manager Benjamin Kelley, and project director Michael Barnard, both of Oxford Development Company.
Oxford will be the developer, with partners P.J. Dick, construction manager; and Lincoln Property Co ., building manager.
Mr. Kelley said while they initially pursued the site as an office project, they are now interested in a high-end apartment building.
The development team planned to meet with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) later in the week about buying the property, as the URA owns the land.
The project is currently in the conceptual design phase. If given the go-ahead, a fall groundbreaking is anticipated.
Later this month, a development review meeting with the Development Review Committee (DRC) is planned, with the team reporting back to the planning forum on its progress at the forum’s July 30 meeting.
“We really want to be engaged in the community,” Mr. Kelley said.
The plan for the roughly $31 million project is for an eight-story, multi-family structure, with two floors of parking and six floors of apartments.
The 173 units will be split about 70-30 in one- and two-bedroom apartments.
No variances are required as it is an allowable zoning use.
To a concern about college students living there, Mr. Kelley said the pricing will be higher end, which is unlikely to be affordable for undergraduates.
There is no plan for any commercial properties in the building.
Next, the report of the Development Review Committee (DRC) was presented by Tracy Myers and Peter Kreuthmeier.
Signage approval for the Miller’s Ale House, which has the support of the DRC, was scheduled before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on June 13. Riverlife is content with the proposed signage.
Miller’s Ale House will be located next to Hofbrauhaus.
In light of Hofbrauhaus’ settlement in the drunk-driving accident that killed a child and severely injured her mother, discussion arose about its conditional licensing agreement (CLA).
The CLA was required by the terms of the settlement. Its purpose is to establish additional procedures in promoting responsible alcohol consumption, such as certifying all personnel in a Responsible Alcohol Management Program, and helping intoxicated guests until they have a safe method of transportation.
Forum discussion included the possibility of recommending a CLA for Miller’s Ale House, or of any transfer or new license in the entertainment district.
A CLA is a legal, binding document. The CLA is attached to the liquor license if it is sold.
Next, forum Chair Hugh Brannan announced the volunteer appointees to the new, standing neighborhood plan revision monitoring committee.
Its purpose, as stated in the eighth update of the neighborhood plan, is to monitor progress in addressing issues as identified in the neighborhood plan, and to update the plan biennially.
Ms. Myers had asked each member forum organization to designate a representative and an alternative by June 11.
The appointees are: Mark Berger and Jonathan Growall, South Side Chamber of Commerce; Wanda Jankoski and Mike Clark, South Side Community Council; Christine Gaus, Brashear Association; Betty Kripp, South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association; and at-large member Tom Smith.
“This is our team of the moment,” Mr. Brannan said.
In the evening’s final business, Candice Gonzalez, Neighborhood Initiatives Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office, provided updates on city activities.
On June 14, 18 outdoor swimming pools opened for the summer season. The city’s four spray parks — located in Beechview, East Hills, Shadyside, and Troy Hill — opened earlier this month.
Also beginning on June 14, 18-hole miniature golf can be played in the ice rink in Schenley Park.
The seventh annual Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic will be held June 15-23, and is open to tennis enthusiasts ages 16 and above.
For complete information on the schedule of summer events, free copies of the 2013 Citiparks Summer Magazine are available at numerous city locations, by visiting: www.Citiparks.net or calling 412-255-2539.
The city has begun the installation of 50 additional bike racks in downtown Pittsburgh. To date, more than 150 racks have been installed in other neighborhoods, bringing the total number of city-installed racks to over 500.
They are part of the new bike and pedestrian initiatives introduced in 2007 to make the city more friendly in those aspects.
Pittsburgh is recognized as one of the top 30 most bike-friendly cities by Bicycling magazine, and was chosen as the host city for the 2014 Pro Walk/Bike Conference which will welcome nearly 1,000 bicycle and walking professionals.
The next forum meeting will be a combined July-August meeting on July 30.