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Real estate notes: Approval sought for Wilkins hotel

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By Sam Spatter
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

• The Forza Group and Anthony D'Imperio on Thursday will seek the approval of the Wilkins Township Zoning Hearing Board to construct a hotel on the site of D'Imperio's restaurant, at 3412 William Penn Highway. Preliminary plans indicate Forza Group plans a 100-room hotel standing 72 feet high that will exceed the current 35-foot height restriction, reduction of the front yard setback from 50 feet to 45 feet and reduction of the number of parking spaces from 102 to 82. The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Irene J. Pohl Municipal Building, 110 Peffer Road. D'Imperio's may close at the end of the month.

• The initial development plan of the former Allegheny County Health Department site at 3333 Fifth Ave., Oakland, will be presented for approval to the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday. MWK Forbes LLC wants to build 389 apartment units on the site with integrated parking and ground-floor retail. More apartments in the Strip District are being proposed for 3155 Penn Ave. by Rob Indovina, who will seek the board's approval for 14 apartments above his relocated architectural office. Solara Ventures is seeking approval for its latest condominium development in the Strip District, about 38 to 40 units at 2419 Smallman St. Lim Young Kyu and Kyung Hae want to build an addition to a single-story portion of a structure for use as a restaurant at 5510 Centre Ave., Shadyside. Calvin L. Sheffield wants approval for a new one-story structure at 1004 Decatur St., Manchester, to be used as a crematoria in a funeral home with use of the integral garage. Included is the Sheffield Funeral Home at 1125 Allegheny Ave., North Side.

• Ex-Pittsburgher Patrick DiCesare, CEO of Sunset Capital Group in Los Angeles, has sold four land-lease manufactured home communities in Western Pennsylvania for $12.2 million. The sale, involving 336 multi-family units on a combined 239 acres, are Independent Park in Beaver County, and Rostraver Estates, Hillside Estates and Valley Hi Park in West­more­land County. The buyer is UMH Properties Inc., a publicly traded company based in New Jersey, with plans to make capital improvements and add rental units, said Samuel A. Landy, president. DiCesare, who owns other properties in Western Pennsylvania, is in the process of buying about $13 million of office, retail and multi-family housing in Los Angeles.

• The relocation of about 600 Express Scripts workers from North Versailles to North Huntingdon is expected to occur starting in the second quarter of 2015, with all personnel in the new location by the end of the quarter, said David Whitrap, director of corporate communications. Express Scripts anticipates the new building will be completed by the end of the first quarter. The new building is 70,000 square feet and will serve as a front-end pharmacy. The current building, which is leased, has 56,000 square feet. The relocation was first announced in the Tribune-Review last April.

• New solar energy panels are located above The Mall at Robinson's Food Court entrance, powering four electric car-charging stations in the front of the food court parking lot. There is no charge for mall guests to use the station, said Carrie Butler, spokeswoman for the mall in Robinson Township. The mall has partnered with Green Roads Energy LLC and Day & Night Solar to install a turnkey solar station that offers renewable energy to power the chargers donated by Wesco and Eaton. “This collaboration helps us continue our substainable journey and further reduce our carbon footprint,” said Beth Edwards, general manager.

• Simple Ingredients, a takeout restaurant, has opened a storefront on Liberty Avenue, Downtown, between the Harris Theatre and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Education Center at 807 Liberty Ave., in property owned by the Cultural Trust. The owner of Simple Ingredients is Michael Tarquinio, who also owns Sal's City Deli.

• There were 2,343 real estate transactions in the Pittsburgh region in June, a 7.72 percent increase over May but down 2.29 percent from June 2013, Re/Max International reported. There were 10,079 actual listings available during the month, and the median sales price was $155,000, up 7.34 percent from May and up 3.33 percent from June 2013.

— Sam Spatter

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