All these years as Lawrenceville’s upswing has progressed, one huge parcel of property — the 2.8-acre former Hanlon-Gregory Steel galvanizing plant — sat at the neighborhood’s upper end like a block-long question mark.
In March, Toronto-based CRAFT Development Corporation will break ground on this site with 68 townhouses called Mews on Butler. Units will be available for pre-sale at prices starting in the low $400s. The expected completion date for the first phase of the development is in the fall.
The project will consist of a townhouse-style condominium community between 55th and 56th Streets on Butler Street. Two collections (called the Hanlon and the Gregory, after the property’s original owners) will offer units with 1,850 to 2,650 square feet of living space, two-car garages and other amenities.
When the project began, the site — which had served as storage for everything from movie theater equipment to vehicles after Hanlon-Gregory shut down in the 1970s — was a blank slate. Richard Sunseri, a developer with PPM Realty and the exclusive listing agent for the project, says site work and research in the area took almost two years to complete.
“There aren’t many entire blocks left for sale in the city,” says Sunseri. He notes that Upper Lawrenceville has yet to experience the redevelopment renaissance that’s happened in the lower half of the neighborhood.
“Once we develop on this side,” he says, “the rest of Upper Lawrenceville will fill in.”
The name is a British reference to a grouping of carriage houses clustered together. Common areas between the units will feature items including benches and bike racks.
“There is nothing like our little community within a larger city neighborhood,” says Sunseri.
Standard features for both models include open floor plans with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The condos, which are being designed by Indovina Associates Architects, will also feature LED recessed lighting and 92 percent high-efficiency HVAC.
The project is embracing traditional Pittsburgh architecture, “while mixing in some new and modern features,” says Sunseri, who adds that views of the city and rivers are bonuses of Upper Lawrenceville. “It’s the perfect location for people who need to be close to the city — but not too close,” he says.
By creating a “traditional design,” Larry Regan, CRAFT’s director of development, says the neighborhood will cater to a variety of homeowners, from millennials and established families to empty nesters.
“It was a site that’s been available for a while, but needed some creative thinking,” says Regan. “It will create a ‘bookend’ to Lawrenceville.”