Open house for renovated West Newton building sees good response
The spruced-up and ready-to-occupy former Riverside Lounge was opened to public view Monday and the response was good, the owner's representative said.
The former tavern at 101 S. Water St. drew some local interest and some new ideas from people who inspected the space that has been remodeled for new uses, said William Prince, coordinator of the Trail Town Program operated by The Progress Fund, the Greensburg-based agency that provides financing for community development initiatives.
“I think it's going to be a wonderful asset in town. I think they (The Progress Fund) have done a wonderful job,” said West Newton Mayor Mary Popovich, who was among the local officials who participated in the three-hour open house.
Prince declined to reveal the possible uses that were discussed Monday by prospective entrepreneurs.
Community leaders have discussed the possibility that the once-vacant building above the eastern bank of the Youghiogheny River could become home to a restaurant, with 2,500 square feet of space available on the first floor, plus a new porch with windows offering a view of the river.
“We will look at all the options,” Prince said.
Popovich said she believes that a business at the renovated lounge will bring more business to the east side of West Newton, where there are several vacant storefronts along East Main Street.
The Progress Fund wants to find the right tenant for the two-story building, which sits on a one-half-acre parcel that offers parking off South Water Street.
Prince has said that The Progress Fund will cast a wider net for potential occupants, looking into the Pittsburgh market as well as the local area for those interested in investing in West Newton.
Prince had previously said that businesses with local and statewide ties were interested in learning about the building because of the Great Allegheny Passage that runs through West Newton, just across the West Newton Bridge from the building.
“I think we are in a transitional phase. People like little towns,” Popovich said.
The Progress Fund hired a contractor to gut the building, removing all the vestiges of the tavern and leaving a “blank space” for the new occupant. The Progress Fund has not revealed the cost of the renovations, which included a new roof, new windows, new entrances and a new back porch. The building can be remodeled to suit a tenant's needs, Prince said.
For those interested in starting a business in West Newton, the building is available for rent at $1,200 a month plus utilities for the entire first floor or $650 a month plus utilities for one-half of the first floor. Entrepreneurs wanting to open a business in the building have an advantage because The Progress Fund will make financing available, Prince said.
The Progress Fund plans to rent it out, but eventually wants to sell it, Prince said.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-5252.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.