South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Margaret L. Smykla
Contributing Writer 

Plans discussed for Riverside Mews, marijuana dispensary


Last updated 3/11/2021 at 8:58am

The latest virtual development activities meeting (DAM) of the South Side Community Council (SSCC) featured presentations on three South Side proposed projects.

The Zoom video conference was held February 25.

The proposed projects are Phase 3 of the Riverside Mews; the interior and exterior renovation of the first floor of 1321 E. Carson St. to create a residential entry for six new apartment units on the second and third floors at 1327 East Carson St .; and the installation of a garage and door to the rear of 2009 East Carson St. for a new "Beyond/Hello, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary."

The latter two projects will be going before the Historic Review Commission (HRC). Phase 3 of the Riverside Mews will go before the Planning Commission.

A DAM provides an opportunity for citizens, property owners, business owners, and stakeholders to learn about the proposals that affect them and to resolve concerns at an early stage of the application process.

Meetings must be held at least 30 days prior to the applicant presenting to the HRC, Planning Commission, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, or the Art Commission.

Any comments on a project presented at a DAM of the SSCC should be emailed to the SSCC at: Letters may also be sent to: 400 Ross St., 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

The first presentation was the proposed development project of Phase 3 of the Riverside Mews. This is the third of three phases, and for the area between the existing unit and the river on 18th St.

Phase 3 includes Parcel IDs 12-A-7 and 12-A-11.

It is currently a large vacant lot adjoining the sold-out prior phases of Riverside Mews. Phases 1 & 2, comprising 32 units, are completely sold out.

The developer is Riverside Development Group, Inc.

The plan calls for from 14 to 17 total units depending on whether the developer pursues the smaller (narrower to achieve higher density) units on the rear of the site, which borders the teacher's union property.

The new single-family units would match the existing ones.

Base prices would range from below $500,000 up to $675,000. 

The smaller units will be under 2,000-square-feet including the garages, and the larger units may run up to about 3,000-square feet.

The Belgian block will be grouted to achieve ADA compliance.

Up to two integral parking spots per home will be pursued, plus additional guest parking if the homeowners' association wants to pursue it.

The next presentation was about the proposed interior and exterior renovation of the first floor of 1321 East Carson St. to create a residential entry for six new apartments on the second and third floors at 1327 East Carson St.

The top two floors have been vacant since, at least, the 1990s. There was once a fourth floor that burned down in a fire.

The proposed renovation project would begin after the lease for the Glassworx Gallery, 1321 East Carson St., expires on May 31, 2021.

The developer is Penrose Advisors, LLC.

The six units would consist of four units of three bedrooms each, and two units of two bedrooms each.

The units are geared to students. Students in the three-bedroom units would each pay $850 to $1000 rent per bedroom per month.

The price range is for all units, not the just the three-bedroom units. Exact unit costs have not been finalized.

There will be a butterfly security system, which is a video intercom security system that controls access into the building.

Besides going before the HRC, the proposed plan will go before the Zoning Hearing Board for a special exception for parking. The special exception is for off-site parking. 

Six parking spaces will be required. Per the zoning code, at least four parking spaces and two bike parking spaces will be provided. Bike parking will be inside the building, and car parking will be located in a parking lot one-and-a-half blocks north of the site. 

The final presentation was for the installation of a garage and door to the rear of 2009 East Carson St. for a new "Beyond/Hello, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary" on the site.

The proposal is to install a garage door at Wright's Way in the rear for secure delivery, which is a state Dept. of Health requirement to allow secure delivery of regulated products into the store.

The 5,350-square-feet building is currently vacant.

The developer is BuilderGuru Contracting.

As part of the plan, the storefront glass will be replaced to ensure there are no leaks. The style and other properties will remain as they currently are so the historic appeal will not be lost.

Signage will span eight feet of the storefront, said construction project manager Brittney Collier of Beyond/Hello.

Painting will take place on the building of the metals that are weathered and need to be brought up to acceptable levels.

The trash would be kept indoors until time for outside pick-up.

There would be ten employees working on the premises at any one time. The store would be open seven days a week.

Six dedicated parking spaces are planned in the rear for the business.

If approval is granted, the business would open in the third quarter of 2021.

"We are reinvigorating the neighborhood," said Art Cybulski, senior vice-president of owner/operator Strategic Projects.

"We are bringing a new business into a vacant building, providing jobs, and bringing the building back to life," he said.

The next DAM of the SSCC will be on March 25. A proposal for apartments at SouthSide Works is planned; one to two more presentations may be scheduled.


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