Attorney Ferguson wins zoning case clearing the way to revive the dilapidated, vacant Plant Warehouse building, Liberty Avenue in Lower Lawrenceville for residential and mixed uses.
Industrial Commons, LTD is stepping in to revitalize a building which has sat empty for ten years. Purchasing the building in early 2016, the intent is to rehabilitate the building and the surrounding community. Once home to The Plant and Flower Warehouse at 3801 Liberty Avenue, the building, vacant for a decade, has since fallen into severe disrepair with broken windows, crumbling concrete, structurally deficient walls and a roof caving in, all posing danger to the surrounding neighborhood and its residents. Attorney Dwight Ferguson, a partner of Cafardi Ferguson Wyrick Weis + Stotler llc, successfully represented Industrial Commons before the Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Pittsburgh (“ZBA”) which granted Industrial Commons the relief needed to proceed with the development. However, one neighbor appealed the decision of the ZBA approving the development to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County. Attorney Ferguson defended the ZBA decision and the approvals of the development in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.
The Common Pleas Court rejected the challenge from the neighboring automotive repair shop which sought to stop the development after unsuccessfully trying to buy the building asserting that the predominantly residential development would negatively affect the adjacent residential properties, even though the appellants’ auto repair business is located in the Urban Industrial zoning district. In late February, Allegheny County Common Pleas Senior Judge Joseph James ruled that the ZBA correctly decided in favor of the project and that the project complied with the zoning regulations designed to protect neighboring properties.
With support from the City of Pittsburgh which supported the development, and neighborhood stakeholders, the Lawrenceville Corporation and Lawrenceville United, Industrial Commons has embarked on an ambitious plan to restore the building and turn it into a mixed-use complex with one and two bedroom apartments and complimentary retail space and on-site parking. One and two bedroom apartments will make up floors two through four. The living spaces are designed for optimal function and comfort with stainless appliances & granite counter-tops in the kitchen, hardwood floors, and corner units with floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of downtown. To further the living experience all residents will have access to a green space being designed on the roof with an outdoor grill, fountain, herb garden and benches – and again the view the dramatic downtown skyline. On the first floor will be a fully outfitted fitness center. Residents will have private parking spaces including spots for bicycles.
Plans are to make the project as green as possible with locally sourced sustainable materials and within the footprint of the existing structure. The exterior facade of the building is designed to integrate the surrounding environment and to fit seamlessly with the neighborhood in keeping with the history of the industrial era.
The project will revive and enhance Lower Lawrenceville luring further complimentary development into this area.
Industrial Commons, LTD is partnering with Desmone Architects and has support from the City of Pittsburgh on the project. Opening is slated for early 2018.