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Developer eyes start of Theater Square project in Sewickley

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

By fall, a developer hopes to begin turning vacant property in the middle of Sewickley's business district into a new mixed-use development.

In phase one of the proposed Theater Square project near Thorn and Walnut streets in Sewickley, developer Peter Friday could break ground in October for a proposed office building if he's given the green light during a public hearing planned for Sept. 3 in front of the borough's planning commission. A public hearing in front of council also would be planned.

“This is one of three projects we intend to present to planning … all centered around what the big vision is — Theater Square,” said Friday, president of Forbes Trail Development Co.

“It's going to initiate a lot of momentum in the area and we're excited about it.”

Friday's developments would be built near a two-screen movie theater Village Theater Co. is proposing.

The group is targeting a ground-breaking on the Walnut Street property some time in October — after a lease with the borough is inked, which nonprofit theater group Vice President Susan Kaminski said she expects to happen this month.

In Friday's office building development, upper floors of the complex would allow for office space, he said.

“We think there's demand for shared office space,” Friday said.

A coffee shop could be added on the ground floor of the proposed development, Friday said.

The developments all would sit on the land formerly occupied by Rolls Royce and Ascot dealerships.

While Friday's development and that of the nonprofit group will fall under the Theater Square name, Friday said the buildings would not have similar appearances, adding that different building materials would be used since the projects are not connected.

Friday said his building would have a modern look.

No timeframe for when the building could be up was announced.

“We're trying to beat the winter,” Friday said, referring to the developer's construction start date.

Parking for tenants would be leased through property owners across the business district, Friday said, adding that he has verbal commitments from some owners that would turn into leases, but he warned that parking agreements and availability would be limited after the first development is up.

“It's nice to have shared parking available — glad it's in the ordinance. But the reality is that after this project, there won't be any spaces left,” he said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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