Improvements to Rt. 51- Reconstruction + Park & Ride Planned
Park & Ride-We have such a great resource in the Blue Line trolley and the busway, and yet there is no parking near the stops! That's why I've taken the first steps to developing a new park & ride along Rt. 51. I fought to amend our 2012 City Budget to fund an engineering study to identify possible locations of a facility, which could include possible retail and residential development. Economic Development South is facilitating conversations with potential developers and partners. The study is nearly complete and we expect to identify next steps and a timeline in the coming months. Stay tuned!
Reconstruction at Rt. 51 and Rt. 88-It's finally happening! The $15 million reconstruction of the intersection of Saw Mill Run Blvd and Library Road will begin in spring of 2013 and PennDOT expects to complete the project by fall of 2014. The project will make the intersection safer in many respects, improving traffic flow and pedestrian access, as well as addressing flash flooding issues. There will be traffic open in each direction on Rt. 51 during all phases of construction, as well as local road access for adjacent residents. Subscribe to our newsletter for ongoing updates.
Building New Senior Residences
My office frequently receives calls from families looking for high quality senior-exclusive housing options in Carrick and Overbrook. People want to downsize without leaving the neighborhoods they've known for so many years, but right now there's a shortage of this type of housing. That's why I'm working on two exciting new senior housing developments! We should know more about the timelines of both of these projects shortly.
In Carrick, I'm working with the Community Builders, a non-profit senior housing developer, on a brand new independent living apartment building on the site of the vacant former Giant Eagle. The community builders have purchased the property and are putting together a financing package for the new construction.
In Overbrook, I'm working with locally-owned Valcott Enterprises, Economic Development South, and the NRP Group, the nation's leading developer of multi-unit properties, to renovate the former Overbrook School on Rt. 51. The school will become an assisted living facility with in-house health services. A new independent living complex will be built where the ballfield is now. The campus will include additional parking and a new access bridge to the trolley stop.
Revitalizing our City Parks
South Pittsburgh is special for so many reasons, and one of my favorites is our plentitude of parks and greenspace. Carrick's Phillips Park Community Center underwent a large-scale renovation this year, including a new basketball court floor, a new fitness center with upgraded equipment and the installation of air conditioning! City foresters are also removing sick trees in the park and replacing them with new ones. A collaboration with a landscape architecture student from the Penn State Center has resulted in a brand new design for the entrance to Phillips Park. We have received a commitment from Public Works to move forward with these landscape renovations in 2013. Our Phillips Park staff is amazing, and these gym facilities are FREE to the public--call 412-885-7445 for hours and programs.
Over the past year, I've also set aside city funding for the renovation of the newly renamed Accamando Center of Overbrook (the former Rt. 51 firehouse), which acts as the local hub for the Pittsburgh Boxing Club, South Pittsburgh community councils and the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society. We've also worked with local foundations to fund a community garden next to the center called "Firehouse Farms."
In addition, I've worked with the administration to commit funding in the 2013 budget for a spruce-up of Leolyn Parklet. Look for this work to take place in the spring and summer of 2013!
Rt. 51 Strip Club Opening Halted
The owner of the former Butta Bing Strip Club on Rt. 51 recently requested permission from the City to re-open as a new strip club. Thanks to the advocacy of the Overbrook Community Council and their pro-bono legal counsel, the request was denied. The owners have appealed the request in court several times but have failed to get approval so far. We will continue to work with the community to stay on top of this issue. We'll keep folks up-to-date on the status of this fight through our e-mail newsletter and community meetings.