South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Updated signage coming soon in all Emerald View subparks

 

March 20, 2018



Updates on future Emerald View Park projects and a proposed residential development plan on Southern Avenue were among the topics presented at last Thursday’s Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) community forum.

Emerald View Park is set to receive updated signage at its primary entrances and trailheads as well as a new master plan for future development initiatives. The park projects were announced during a short presentation by Kathryn Hunninen, senior manager of special initiatives at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PPC).

Ms. Hunninen explained that Emerald View Park is 257 acres and consists of several individual park spaces throughout Mount Washington, Duquesne Heights and Allentown including Grandview Park, Olympia Park, Shaler Parklet, and Ream Parklet.

The decision to group each park together to form Emerald View Park was influenced by Allegheny Regional Asset District standards that require a park space to consist of more than 200 acres to qualify as a regional park and be eligible for certain types of funding.

The new park signage, which will be installed later this year, will print the name of the “subpark,” while also stating the park is a part of the larger Emerald View Park system.

“We are basically recognizing that all of those spaces still have their individual identities,” Ms. Hunninen said.

The new signs will also contain maps of nearby amenities and verbiage about park regulations. Additionally, they will match other city regional parks and be less costly to reproduce in order to make the replacement process manageable.

In addition to the signage, a 2016 agreement between the PPC and the MWCDC to partner on future development initiatives for Emerald View Park was also discussed.

That agreement included the creation of a master plan or a capital improvement plan that would be necessary for large-scale development projects in the future. Ms. Hunninen said identifying funding sources for planning work remains one of the PPC’s top priorities in 2018.

After the Emerald View Park updates, Trent Seaman of Trisda Group presented plans for a residential development project on Southern Avenue.

The group is looking to transform the former medical facility at 160 Southern Avenue into a nine-unit residential apartment building. The building is currently abandoned and beginning to show signs of vandalism and deterioration on the inside.

“It’s been vacant for a long time,” Mr. Seaman said. “The plan is for residential development and the good news is that it already has a parking lot.”

Mr. Seaman said a major benefit of the development plan is the installation of LED lighting around the perimeter of the building that will provide a sense of safety for residents walking around the area.

“We think this development can really bring some life to this corner,” Mr. Seaman said. “Not only the lighting, but the flow of activity will make people feel more secure when coming up through the neighborhood.”

The proposed plan outlines eight single bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit. Seven of the units will be located on the first floor and two will be on the second. Directly behind the building is a 10-space parking lot and the units are expected to rent for market rate.

“We’re not shooting for luxury apartments here,” Mr. Seaman said. “We want these apartments to be the type of apartment that the recent college grad can afford.”

Mr. Seaman said Trisda Group manages 53 rental units in Mount Washington and most tenants are young professionals. The average age of his tenants is 28 the average household income is $71,000. He will be looking to attract the same demographic to the new units.

He added that his goal is for this development to become a catalyst for more redevelopment from the 100 block of Southern Avenue up to Warton Street.

“If people feel confident about that side of the neighborhood, it could spur more activity,” Mr. Seaman said.

The property is currently in the foreclosure stages. Trisda Group would aim to close on the property this summer if the project is approved by the zoning board.

Mr. Seaman said Trisda Group has already submitted an application and received positive feedback from many within the city.

Trisda Group is comprised of six full-time employees. The business has participated in more than $13 million worth of acquisitions and renovations throughout the city.

The MWCDC will hold its second annual Mount Washington Business Expo on April 19 in Sullivan Hall on Bingham Street. This event will take the place of April’s community forum.

The next MWCDC community forum is May 17 at the Mount Washington Senior Center on Virginia Avenue.

 

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