ShareThis Page
New Kensington’s Bloser Mansion could become a bed and breakfast | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

New Kensington’s Bloser Mansion could become a bed and breakfast

Tom Yerace
| Sunday, March 3, 2019 1:30 a.m
811032_web1_vnd-NewKenbb01-030319
Submitted
The old Bloser Mansion at 479 Sixth Ave. in New Kensington was built in 1921. There are plans to turn the home into a bed and breakfast/events center.
811032_web1_vnd-NewKenbb02-030319
Submitted
The old Bloser Mansion at 479 Sixth Ave. in New Kensington was built in 1921. There are plans to turn the home into a bed and breakfast/events center.

Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Sunday, March 3, but with an incorrect address and photograph of the property being proposed for a bed and breakfast. This story contains the correct information.

Corey Pistininzi wants to turn a New Kensington landmark into a destination, and the city’s zoning hearing board is giving him that opportunity.

The board voted 2-0, with Chairman Bruce Pipman absent, to grant Pistininzi a variance to turn the old Bloser Mansion in Parnassus into a bed and breakfast/events center.

Pistininzi, wife Alyssa and aunt Kelly Corridoni formed a partnership, Bloser Mansion LLC, to bring the project to fruition.

“That’s the goal — to make it a destination that brings people to New Kensington and see what it has to offer, and it has a lot,” Pistininzi told zoning board members Tom Kaniecki and John Cope.

The Bloser Mansion at 479 Sixth Ave. was built in 1921.

The Bloser family operated Bloser’s Jewelry on Fifth Avenue in downtown New Kensington from 1873, when E.A. Bloser started it, until it closed in 1996.

Bloser Mansion LLC owns the property.

Pistininzi and his family moved to New Kensington almost six years ago after they outgrew their condominium in Pittsburgh. He said he fell in love with the area and bought a home in the Parnassus section, noting the tremendous real estate values the city has to offer.

He operates Modfinish, a professional design, furnishings and remodeling business, in the old Bair Electric building on Fifth Avenue.

The mansion is in relatively good condition and he believes he can restore and transform it into his vision within the space of two to three months, Pistinizi said.

That vision, as he outlined it to the zoning board, is to install a new kitchen on the first floor, which will be the events center. He said the idea would be to rent it out for gatherings and private parties such as bridal and baby showers and small weddings as well as providing it free for civic events.

The second floor has four bedrooms, but Pistininzi said that likely will be reduced to three bedrooms so each room can have a private bathroom. It likely would be for typical bed-and-breakfast short-term stays of two or three days.

The third floor also has three bedrooms and a kitchen and would accommodate guests desiring longer stays. Also, there is a carriage house in the rear that will have a one-bedroom accommodation with a kitchen for a total of seven rooms for guests.

“It will be a little more accommodating, have a little more character than your typical modern hotel,” Pistininzi said.

The partnership bought a vacant house next to the mansion and razed it to provide parking.

“I think it’s a good idea, myself,” said Kaniecki, the zoning board’s vice chairman. “I like the concept.”

He said they brought the proposal before the city planning commission to see if the project was doable and the commission gave its approval to the idea.

However, a variance still was needed. City zoning officer Tony Males explained the neighborhood is zoned for single-family dwellings.

Overall, the property complies with the rest of the ordinances, Males said. He recommended the board grant the use variance.

“I feel these are unique circumstances and it would be an improvement for the area,” Males said.

Neighborhood residents who came to the hearing voiced no strenuous objections.

Former mayor Frank Link, who lives a few doors away from the mansion, said he is not opposed to it but he is concerned about preserving the integrity and safety of the neighborhood, particularly for children, in regard to a possible increase in traffic.

He asked if traffic humps could be provided to discourage speeding.

Another Parnassus resident, Robert Sauro, praised the project and the Pistininzis.

He noted New Kensington has been slowly dying and needs help from people like them to infuse new life into it.

“Parnassus is especially dying, and it is easily the only historic part of the city left,” Sauro said. “What they are proposing is amazing.”

Both zoning board members approved the variance with a recommendation that a speed hump be included in the plans.

Pistininzi said Bloser Mansion LLC must go back before the planning commission with detailed development plans for review and approval. The project then would head to city council with the planning commission’s recommendation before the project is finally approved.

Once that happens, Pistininzi said, work on the mansion would probably begin in late spring or early summer.

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.