Special Board Meeting – Irish Centre Development 7/31 @ 6:30 PM
The Squirrel Hill Coalition (SHUC) Built Committee met on July 17th to review additional information that was submitted by Indovina Architects and the developer, Craft General concerning the Irish Centre proposed development. All SHUC Board members were invited to attend the Committee Meeting if they were interested in the presentation and many attended.
Ryan Indovina, the project architect, offered an updated presentation that responded to some of the unanswered questions from the June presentation having to do with the context of the proposed development, including the proposed height and size of the building with respect to the height of the I-376 bridge and surrounding environment including the trees and park area. Craft, the developer, also stated that the development would be condos and would be substantially be presold prior to any construction.
Ryan and Craft also provided additional specifics that were not presented originally as to the development costs and the density/number of units required to achieve feasibility and obtain financing. At this meeting a chart was provided demonstrating the projected development costs regarding all the permitted and potential residential uses including development cost information intended to demonstrate the density required for feasibility, including a 12.5% profit which is within the range of any typical development. A link is included for those who are interested to review the updated drawings and cost information. Download link:
After a lengthy discussion and questions answered, the Built Committee agreed to recommend that the SHUC Board hold a special meeting to reconsider their prior vote not to support the requested 87’ height and 1.33:1 floor area ratio variances given that there was continued interest in the development and that the other requested variances were supported.
Therefore, a special meeting of the board is being called for July 31st, 6:30 PM. This meeting will be on Zoom. The meeting will be open to the public. Written comments on the variance issues will be accepted from the public by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org up until COB Friday July 28th at Noon. Comments received after this date will not be included in the summary. The comments on the variance requests will be summarized and given to the Board prior to the meeting. SHUC will also include the summary of comments into the record (the minutes.)
To review, the SHUC Board conducted a Development Activities Meeting (D.A.M.) and heard public comments on May 17, 2023 and also provided time for public comments at the June 20, 2023 SHUC Board Meeting. SHUC is also accepting written comments for this special meeting. Therefore there is no need for further discussion from the public during this special meeting.
The Built Committee will be presenting the new information about the context of the proposed development (6 stories above ground and 2 stories of underground parking.) Board members will be able to respond and discuss the information. Any Board Member may make a motion with regard to the height and the 1:33:1 density variance. the board, a motion may be made to support the 87’ variance and the 1.33:1 floor area ratio. If there is a second, more discussion among the board will be heard and questions may be posted to the development team by Board Members. Then a vote will be taken. As usual, minutes from this public meeting will be posted to the SHUC Website once approved.
It is obvious that this is an emotional issue with concerns expressed that are not germane to the variance requests before the Zoning Board. For this special meeting, only the height variance and the floor area ratio variance request will be considered.
As is always the case, the SHUC Board will then provide a letter to the Zoning Board of Adjustment explaining the extended process, give a summary of the public comments on the variances and state the SHUC Board’s position.
ZOOM: SHUC Irish Centre Project Meeting
Time: Jul 31, 2023 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
The Squirrel Hill Business District in collaboration with Pittsburgh City Council hosted a highly successful National Night Out event. The community came together in full force, making it a memorable evening of unity, fun, and engagement.
Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill
For over fifty years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.