Real estate notes: Baum Boulevard building could get more office space
• More office space and perhaps less parking area may be in store for the Baum Boulevard building that houses an Aldi’s, Crazy Mocha and two office tenants. John Odell, principal of Warner Pacific and owner of the former auto dealership building at 5631 Baum, at the corner of Roup Street, wants to add about 14,000 square feet, now used for parking by Aldi customers and office tenants, into new office space. He appeared Nov. 20 before the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment for approval of the change, which was supported by the Baum-Center Initiative (BCI) with the group’s chairperson, Lenore Williams as the spokesperson. Odell said Aldi’s customers use an average of 16 to 20 spaces daily on the third floor, where 60 spaces are available. He said he would cut that back to 39 spaces, providing 8,000 square feet for office use. Initial parking estimates were based on Aldi’s experiences at suburban locations, but many Aldi’s customers here are walk-ins. Another 6,000 square feet on the second floor, where office tenants park, would be included. Odell said the highest number of Aldi’s customers come during the weekend, when offices typically are closed, and that would free up more parking spaces if needed. The Zoning Board usually takes several weeks to render a decision.
• Eyetique, a privately owned chain of eyewear stores with 17 locations in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas, plans to relocate its headquarters from Squirrel Hill to 1201 Banksville Road, where it has purchased the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania building for $575,000. More than 20 employees will move to the 10,700-square-foot building during the second quarter of 2015. There, plans are to include a training room with a large screen and multiple boardrooms, and also use the building as a laboratory and distribution facility. The headquarters is currently on the second floor of the Squirrel Hill store. “We spent two years looking for the ideal space, and we finally found one that offers the brightness and convenience that are essential to providing members of our team with ideal working conditions,” said Norman Childs, founder and president.
• VA Architecture will seek the approval Thursday of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment on plans to use an existing structure, owned by Lawrenceville Lodge 581 Loyal Order of Moose at 150 51st St., Lawrenceville, as a restaurant with 24 on-site parking spaces. K. Bennett Properties LLC wants to make a lot reconfiguration to add a third story to an existing two-story structure owned by Thomas and Mary Melick at 5227 Duncan St., Lawrenceville, for use as two single-family attached dwellings and one new three-story single-family attached dwelling, all with integral garages. North Way Christian Community seeks approval to use an existing four-story structure, owned by O Brother LLC at 428 N. Craig St., Oakland, as a religious assembly with 38 existing parking spaces. Shawn Zimny wants permission to install a variety of signs for the Morrow Park City Apartments at 5250 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield.
• Heidelberg Apartment Associates LP will seek the approval Wednesday of the Heidelberg Zoning Hearing Board on a request for use of the first floor of a proposed 42-unit apartment building at the corner of Fourth and Washington streets. The public hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Heidelberg Community Room, 1639 E. Railroad St.
• A proposal to build 10 single-family houses and 16 town homes in the Elmhurst A Planned Community will be heard Wednesday by the Sewickley Borough Planning Commission. The development, by Charter Homes with Neighborhoods and MCM Ventures Ltd., will be heard at 7 p.m. in council chambers, second floor, municipal building, 601 Thorn St.
• The state is accepting bids on the former regional correctional facility in Greensburg until 3 p.m. Feb. 18, which closed in June 2013. The property consists of nearly 104 acres and a 285,000-square-foot building. The Department of General Services worked with Hempfield Township to have the property rezoned from an agricultural to regional commercial district.
• CBRE Group Inc. is now handling property management services to Equity Commonwealth for four properties in the Pittsburgh area, including Cherrington Corporate Center, Foster Plaza and Westinghouse Energy Center. The services are included among 145 Equity-owned properties in 30 states and the District of Columbia. Joseph Petak heads the account team in Pittsburgh.
— Sam Spatter