Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Manchester

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Manchester

Article excerpt

Summerset at Frick Park was a hit because its houses had the look of older homes in Squirrel Hill without the maintenance. Three developers who worked on Summerset, now principals in Fourth River Development, are betting that Columbus Square will do the same on the North Side.

Fourth River and its partner, Manchester Citizens Corp., recently finished furnishing the Hamlin model at 1216 Juniata St., a three- bedroom, 21/2-bath brick house priced at $179,000 (412-231-4444 or www.columbussquarepittsburgh.com).

It's half of a duplex, a common sight in Pittsburgh, with a two- car garage and large front porch.

"With the density you have here, you need that outdoor space," said Sally Flinn, a Fourth River principal who worked on Summerset with Mark Schneider and John Watson while all three worked for Rubinoff Co.

Columbus Square began in 2005 and was funded by loans from the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Northside Community Development Fund with hopes of turning around the northern section of Manchester. So far, five of 31 planned single-family homes have been built. The first model, a Pennsylvanian with four bedrooms, 3 1/ 2 baths and a base price of $279,900, sold last week for $295,000 (it has many upgrades). Buyers will close on another house by the end of the month and two others are awaiting buyers' choice of finishes. Half of the homes in the development will have 1,700 square feet, the other half 2,100 square feet.

In the spring, builders will start on the next phase of four homes ranging in price from $214,900 to $279,900. Two will be a duplex like this one. All are on Juniata, a central street a stone's throw from the North Side's main post office and within two miles of PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Rivers Casino.

1216 Juniata looks like some of the older houses in the area with one major difference: It is Energy Star-certified, which means it's much more energy-efficient than older homes of similar size and has Energy Star GE appliances (electric range, side-by-side refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave). Also in the 12-by-101/2- foot kitchen are Merillat Essentials Series cabinetry, Wilsonart laminate counter tops with seamless backsplash and a ceramic tile floor with oversized 18-by-18-inch tiles. The eating area is furnished with Craftsman-style chairs and table by Stickley.

The same oversized ceramic tile were used in the foyer, bathrooms and first-floor laundry, which has electric and gas hookups. All ceilings on the first floor are 10 feet, all hardware is brushed nickel and there are phone/TV/internet jacks in the great room, living room, kitchen and each bedroom.

The 101/2-by-12-foot dining room and 151/2-by-17-foot family room flow together to form the great room. The bedrooms measure 121/2 by 131/2 feet, 10 by 14 feet and 101/2 by 101/2 feet.

Mechanicals include PEX plumbing, programmable digital thermostat and smoke detectors electrically wired with battery backup on each level and in each bedroom. …

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