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Valley News Dispatch

Dance club, event center for Pittsburgh Mills now on hold

| Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 11:27 a.m.
Erica Dietz | Trib Total Media

Two young entrepreneurs from Pittsburgh who were hoping to fill the void left at the Pittsburgh Mills mall by the departures of Dingbats and Abaté Restaurant have put their project on hold.

Brandon Firman and Anthony LaRocca proposed an events venue and an under-21 dance club at the mall Tuesday to Frazer Township supervisors.

The two wanted to open a catered banquet hall that specializes in events such as weddings and proms, along with the dance club.

But on Thursday, Firman said that he and his partner “at this time will not be moving forward” with the project.

Firman, however, left the door open to pursuing the events center concept later.

“That's a gorgeous location,” Firman said of the vacant areas. “They have two free-standing kitchens, a banquet area and a night club area.”

Township Solicitor Timothy Bish told Firman and LaRocca Tuesday that an eating area where an ongoing restaurant isn't the principal use would have to obtain a conditional use permit to operate.

Should the two pursue a conditional use status, they would have to download an application from the township's website, according to Frazer Secretary/Treasurer Lori Ziencik. After a planning commission hearing, the commission would then make a recommendation to the board of supervisors.

Also, under-21 dance clubs are only permitted in industrial zoning districts. In Frazer, the industrial district is along Butler-Logan Road across Route 28 from the mall at the southern end of the township.

For now, Firman and LaRocca will continue to operate the Party Nation website, specializing in under-21 events.

“Our events have shown that kids want to go to a place where they can have a good time without drugs and alcohol and their parents know they are safe,” Firman said.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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