Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Developer Scraps Mt. Lebanon Condo Plan

Developers have withdrawn a $42.8 million plan for upscale condominiums at Bower Hill Road and Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon, municipal planner Keith McGill said.

"We received a letter dated March 22, 2010, from Zamagias Properties, indicating that they were actually withdrawing the approved project for the site, and really just indicating that they would be re-applying to the municipality at some point in the future for a different project at the site," he said. "But they have not given us any details as to what that project would be or any further information."

David Martens, the chief operating officer for Zamagias, said the company is working on alternatives but declined to go into further detail.

Read more: www.postgazette.com/pg/10089/1046727-100.stm

Read more: www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_673992.html

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Blogger Matthew said...

To quote Jessica Rutherford on the Fake Lebo page "at least they got all those tacky trees cut down. all that greenery was such an eye-sore."

Seriously, can we not require that developers put up a bond so that if the project falls through, we can at least have the lot restored to something useful? Even a nice field of grass (and the removal of the fence) would be better than now.

March 30, 2010 10:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Matthews said...

Any continuing conversation with the developer should be preceeded by the pay off of the $1.4MM TIF loan.

The developer cannot develop anything on the site that is not substantially similar to the approved project, without the Municipality giving it a pass.

If the developer is not prepared to pay off the loan, the Municipality should direct the Parking Authority to notify the developer that it intends to execerise its buy-back rights in 2011, but start a redevelopment plan now.

With the Condo project off the table, the Municipality has "effectively" regained control of the site.

This initiative started five years ago and has never had a good day!

March 31, 2010 1:27 PM  
Anonymous John Ewing said...

The TIF is another example of the imperial school board turning a deaf ear to community's needs and diverting dollars from our children's education.

April 03, 2010 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob Reich, Jr. said...

What ever happened with the hotel that was supposed to open on the lot next to Howard Hanna? I recall something about it needed a zoning variance. It's another example of how this town continues to lose out on chances to create new revenue while leaving the current taxpayers alone.

April 04, 2010 9:09 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Good question. I checked around and found the February 8, 2010 Commission meeting minutes (at http://www.mtlebanon.org/Archive.aspx?ADID=1024) which states

"The Developer, Mt. Lebanon Hospitality Associates, L.P., has submitted a letter requesting an extension of these deadlines indicating that the current financial market conditions have negatively impacted their ability to obtain favorable financing for the project. They also indicate that they continue to move forward and anticipate submitting an application for the required building permit and associated construction drawings in the near future."

April 04, 2010 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Bill Lewis said...

The hotel developer has been given an 18 month extension by the Commission to proceed with their plan. The developer appeared before the Commission to explain their written request for such an approval late last year. They revealed that 3 banks refused to loan funds for the development plan, and that their schematic or design development cost estimates came in $6 million over their budget, necessitating a *value engineering* (ie. cost cutting) effort to reduce (ie. cheapen) the design.

They were seeking funding from a 4th. possible un-named source.

April 04, 2010 12:25 PM  

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