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Former Ascot site in Sewickley to include office building, parking

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Redevelopment of the former Ascot car dealership in Sewickley is one step closer to reality.

Council members on Monday gave the green light for a proposed three-story, roughly 10,000-square-foot office building at 417 Thorn St. The building will be part of an area being referred to as Theater Square, which also could include retail space, a two-screen movie theater and a parking garage.

Developer Peter Friday said the proposed building is “the type of space that we currently do not have here in Sewickley.

“I think it's consistent with our grand vision of the Ascot properties and what we are trying to do in terms of building this village,” he said, adding the building will include interesting details like a glass chandelier sculpture created by a Pittsburgh artist.

“It's been a fun process. It's been a long process. I hope this is one of many projects under the name, Theater Square,” he said.

Cliff Krey, a Sewickley landlord, spoke in opposition of the project, telling council there are areas of vacant space in town that aren't being filled.

Council's approval of the proposed office building is conditioned upon various landscaping, parking plans and the location of the building's loading zone.

Sewickley Council also approved paying $480,000 to One Thorn Street LLC for roughly 12,000 square feet of space in the 400 block of Thorn Street to expand the borough's Green Street public lot.

It would add about 24 spaces to the nearly 60 spaces there now. Council members also could consider constructing a parking garage on the site in the future, they said.

Adding a parking lot — and future consideration of a garage — could offer revenue to area business owners and the municipality, council member Tom DeFazio said last month.

“There are intangible revenues here,” he said. “Tangible (revenue) is people sticking a quarter in the machine. But the intangible (revenues) are people coming into the business district and buying.”

As of the end of February, about $500,000 has been pledged for the Village Theater Co. project, group spokeswoman Patty Jones said.

The nonprofit theater group needs $1.5 million by the end of June for construction to begin, she said.

Staff writer Bobby Cherry contributed to this report. Kristina Serafini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or kserafini@tribweb.com.

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