Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Exploring Options Shadyside Residents Hear, Question Pitches on the Future of the Hunt Armory Shadyside Residents Hear, Question Pitches on the Future of the Hunt Armory

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Exploring Options Shadyside Residents Hear, Question Pitches on the Future of the Hunt Armory Shadyside Residents Hear, Question Pitches on the Future of the Hunt Armory

Article excerpt

More than 150 Shadyside residents gathered in Calvary Episcopal Church on Wednesday evening to hear four proposals addressing what to do with the historic Alfred E. Hunt Armory, a cavernous facility that - in its day - was a storage center for weapons and ammunition.

The 93,671-square-foot structure covers nearly an entire city block and is revered by residents who are adamant that the venerable exterior be kept as it is.

City Councilman Dan Gilman and the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority hosted the session giving neighbors a chance to size up alternatives that included:

* An "urban beach" resubmitted by Sutton Management Corp. featuring a pool, sand, palm trees and walking track incorporated into a mixed-use development that also would include 50 residences for "active seniors"; a 20,000-square-foot health club; 20,000 square feet of restaurants, boutiques and medical offices; and 80 parking spaces for cars and 50 spaces for bicycles.

Architect Art Lubetz said the site would be "an oasis from Pittsburgh winters unlike anything in the city," yet promised that the massive East End armory "would maintain its grandeur."

* A 10,000-square-foot forest-style landscaped skating pond that would be converted into a water feature during the summer. The plan pitched by Brinton Motheral and Victory Plaza LLC also includes a one- or two-screen movie theater, a 5,500-square-foot restaurant pub pavilion with outdoor seating, 38 condominium units with access to a landscaped deck, and parking for 50 vehicles.

Mr. Motheral, who grew up in the neighborhood, said the recreation-oriented use was a better option than residential use because there are enough apartments in Shadyside. "I've never seen so many 'For Rent' signs in 40 years," he said.

* A "world-class" multisport facility with the capacity for 12 regulation volleyball courts, six regulation futsal courts, six regulation basketball courts, three soccer fields, three baseball diamonds and an elevated running/walking track, along with multiple studios for yoga, spin and other types of classes. …

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