[Photos: Curbed; renderings, site plans: Imgur]
Developers have proposed a cluster of semi-detached homes a couple of blocks from the Beltline that could alter the residential core of Reynoldstown. Active local builder Thrive Homes is in permitting to bring duplexes (18 total homes) to a lot on Flat Shoals Avenue, across the street from ParkGrounds coffee shop and near the Eastside Trail's planned next leg. The project would replace the longtime home of The Stewart Center, a social ministry that has since sold their property and uprooted to the Pittsburgh community. On the chopping block are a small playground and what the center's website describes as the "well-known/infamous 'blue building.'" If the duplex project moves forward as planned, each unit will encompass a little more than 2,000 square feet, with prices starting in the $400,000s — a number that isn't sitting well with everyone.
According to minutes of January's Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League meeting, developers were quizzed if any of the units will technically be affordable as workforce housing, meaning that asking prices be less than triple a buyer's salary. The answer, a Thrive Homes rep said, was simply no, because of a few factors: The Stewart Center wouldn't budge on the price they wanted for the property, and building fewer units — or smaller ones that would sell in roughly the $200,000s — wouldn't be financially viable after costs of permitting, zoning, storm-water changes and construction are considered, the meeting notes state. However, the rep agreed to consult with the Beltline about possibly helping finance or subsidize two units.
Otherwise, developers hope to complete the zoning process by May, with construction starting in early 2017. The RCIL requested that the project's elevations be simplified and more street-facing spaces, such as porches, be added. Each home will have onsite parking with garages.