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Dec. 13, 2012

Pittsburgh Glass Center to Develop Affordable In-Residence Housing in Garfield

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Pittsburgh Glass Center has purchased a former coffeehouse in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood with plans to repurpose the facility as student and artist-in-residence housing. Construction will begin as soon as funding is secured.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Bloomfield-Garfield Corp. and Friendship Development Association facilitated the acquisition and will also support the property’s redevelopment.

Located at 5447 Penn Ave., the former Kim’s Coffee Shop will provide affordable housing for the center’s visiting artists, students and guests of other arts and community organizations. Plans may also include a retail portion for glass art and supplies.

“This is going to be an amazing place for creative exchange between local and visiting artists and master artists and beginners,” Executive Director Heather McElwee told the Pittsburgh Business Times. “It will be a place where new methods of art making, teaching and exhibiting will occur. It’s going to bring more nationally recognized artists to Pittsburgh in addition to providing much needed housing for our students.”

In other regional news, South Fayette-based Collier Development plans to develop a 100-room hotel and 150 apartments, as well as shops and restaurants on the site of the former Iron City brewery complex in Lawrenceville. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the total cost of the project could amount to $100 million.

In February, Collier Development paid $2.375 million for the nine-plus-acre complex comprised of 20 historic buildings. Some of the oldest structures of the former manufacturing facility date back to the Civil War.

The company now plans to seek approval from the Pittsburgh Historic Review Commission and City Council to demolish at least six buildings in order to make room for the new hotel, residential and commercial buildings. Plans also call for an 800-space garage, a large courtyard, a pool and an outdoor market.

Photo credits: www.riverdance.com