Groups form development plan for Iron City site


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The new owner of the Iron City Brewing Co. property in Lawrenceville has agreed to work with advocacy groups to create a master plan for development of the 10-acre site.

Collier Development of Collier bought the property for $1.7 million in February. It has been vacant since the brewing company moved its production operations to Latrobe in 2009.

Matthew Galluzzo, executive director of the Lawrenceville Corp., said the nonprofit he leads and other neighborhood advocates had been trying to get officials of the Iron City to participate in a planning process before they sold the property but they never obliged.

The master plan is expected to cost about $50,000, half from funds provided through city Councilman Patrick Dowd, the other half a match from Collier Development, Mr. Galuzzo said.

Collier Development officials could not be reached for comment.

Although the site is a city historic-designated property, several buildings in the complex have been demolished with approval from the Historic Review Commission.

Mr. Galluzzo said a master plan is essential.

"My understanding is they want to do a mixed-use development -- residential and some commercial. A master plan process is their best opportunity to curry community support."

Mr. Dowd predicted that a new development on the site would "serve to make the property a transportation nexus, with the possibility of connecting Polish Hill, Oakland, Lawrenceville, the Strip District, Bloomfield, and Downtown."

The Lawrenceville Corp. has received a list of firms proposed by Collier Development as consultants in the planning process and will interview them next week, Mr. Galluzzo said.

The consultants will provide a facilitator for the public process, design drawings, recommendations about reuse, a site plan for development, a market study and an analysis of existing conditions.

"There are a lot of unknowns about what's there and what can be used," he said.

businessnews

Diana Nelson Jones: djones@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1626. Read her blog City Walkabout at www.post-gazette.com/citywalk.


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