| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter RSS Feed

Development News

2148 Articles | Page: | Show All

Second Breakfast debuts at Public Market with creative breakfast and brunch options

If you grabbed a tumbler of black coffee or a handful of cereal on the way out the door this morning, get a breakfast do-over at the Pittsburgh Public Market. The market's latest vendor, Second Breakfast, debuted at the Farm to Table Harvest Tasting and opened for regular Public Market hours this week.

Owner and chef Thomas Wood described some of Second Breakfast’s creative waffle and crepe options. Second Breakfast’s menu includes Tamagoyaki Japanese Omelets (rolled omelets), sweet crepes, a savory crepe of the day (which was a cider-braised turkey Florentine on the day of my visit) and Belgian Liege waffles. Wood said the Belgian Liege’s soft yeast dough is encased with caramelized, Belgian pearl sugar to create a crunch.
 
“It’s hearty, it’s unpretentious, it fits with Pittsburgh,” Wood said about his menu while working behind the counter at his market booth sporting his signature hat, which he described as a throwback to a 1940s deli.
 
The waffles come with an array of toppings, the same sauces for the crepe fillings. Options include whiskey dulce de leche from Public Market neighbor Eliza’s Oven, chocolate, chocolate hazelnut (à la Nutella), berry blends, seasonal fruit and strawberry vanilla -- with a touch of Wigle Whiskey to “wake up the vanilla.”
 
Wood added that the shop will also offer waffle hash browns and a bacon weave topper. He said customers can look forward to specials like the Belgian Liege waffle with bacon ice cream and maple bacon brandy syrup.
 
Wood previously worked as a chef at Pittsburgh restaurants and said he has always focused on organic and local ingredients, like what he now uses at his Public Market venture.
 
“The whole time, I was always focused on high-quality ingredients,” Wood said about his work as a chef. “But, we’re Pittsburghers,” he added, noting that a dense, filling breakfast can still be locally sourced. 
 
He said he has always wanted to venture out on his own and has been interested in working with the Public Market. The Market Kitchen at the Public Market gave him this opportunity, he said.
 
“It’s a wonderful tool [and] it’s a great business incubator,” he said about the shared-use commercial kitchen. Wood added that the cost of starting a business and supplies would have been almost insurmountable without access to the Market Kitchen. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Market Kitchen.”
 
In addition to kitchen access, Wood noted the support and camaraderie that comes from working in the Public Market. During our interview, another vendor stopped by to see if Wood had gotten his bacon order.
 
“The atmosphere here is totally collaborative and awesome,” he said.  
 
 
Source: Thomas Wood 

Friendship Circle finds new Squirrel Hill home at site of old Gullifty's

Rabbi Mordy Rudolph and his wife Rivkee have been running The Friendship Circle since its inception in 2006, when 15 teen volunteers were paired with about a dozen children with special needs. Today, the program boasts more than 200 alumni. 
 
The organization has outgrown its 1,200-square-foot storefront space and will move to a new, 10,000-square-foot home at 1922 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill as part of a multi-million dollar renovation at the site of the now-closed Gullifty's restaurant.
 
“Friendship Circle began eight years ago with about a dozen volunteers and a desire to remove barriers for children with special needs,” explained Chuck Perlow, a founding board member and co-chair of the capital campaign. “Today, this vibrant program works through nearly 300 active teen volunteers and more than 120 friends who are no longer defined by their disabilities. This unique space will be a celebration of the dramatic connections created and those yet to come.”  

Since 1994, Friendship Circle organizations have been created in more than 60 cities around the world. The program allows children and young adults with special needs to enjoy the company of teenage and young adult volunteers in a full range of social activities. Friendship Circle aims to enrich the lives of all participants through mutually advantageous interactions and lasting friendships.
 
Rudolph said the renovation will allow the growing organization to continue to engage students with activities like art, drama and cooking clubs. The renovation will include a first-floor storefront with glass windows along the Murray Avenue front of the venue, opening it to the community. This floor will include a multi-purpose space with a performance stage, a teen lounge, a pop-up gallery space, new elevator and a working kitchen for cooking clubs and other opportunities.
 
A second floor with work pods will allow youth with special needs to actively participate in the planning and behind-the-scenes work of Friendship Circle in a supported work setting. The second floor will also include a play space for younger children, a parent lounge, executive offices and conference room space for the staff of Friendship Circle. A rooftop garden and outdoor recreational space will maximize the footprint of the building and provide space for members to garden and enjoy the outdoors.
 
On a visit to a Friendship Circle site in Michigan, Rudolph said he witnessed the organization using its center to create a simulated community within the building. Inside the site were storefronts and a manufactured Main Street. While Rudolph said the idea of community is apparent in this model, he prefers the opportunity that the Murray Avenue location gives the Pittsburgh space. Participating in an existing community is more beneficial than creating an isolated environment, Rudolph said.
 
In addition to creating a person-to-person community in Friendship Circle, Rudolph said, the new building has the opportunity to create relationships with neighboring businesses. Rudolph explained that he hopes to engage with existing neighbors, like barbers and grocers, for Friendship Circle field trips and outings.
 
Working on the new venue are Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel Architects and construction manager John Paul Busse of F.J. Busse Company. Stuart Horne, an architect with Seigle Solow Horne and former Friendship Circle board member, is helping to oversee the project. The new venue will be completely ADA-compliant, with parking available behind the building as well as at street meters.  
 
“I think that there is tremendous potential just by moving into the space,” Rudolph said, adding that though the organization has grown so much in almost a decade, he is still excited about the future. “[In some ways,] it feels like we’re still in our infancy … like we’re just getting started.”
 
Rudolph says the goal is to complete the renovation by fall 2015, in time for the start of the 2015 – 2016 school year.
 
Source: Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, The Friendship Circle

Grow Pittsburgh unveils Braddock Farms improvements with help from the Fairmont

Grow Pittsburgh, an urban agriculture non-profit that teaches people how to grow food and promotes the benefits of gardens in local communities, has updated its Braddock Farms site thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from Fairmont Pittsburgh.
 
Fairmont Pittsburgh secured the grant via the Community Assistance and Responsibility to the Environment program, a charitable initiative of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which allows hotels to support social, community and environmental projects in their local communities.
 
Grow Pittsburgh is the official green charity partner of Fairmont Pittsburgh. Since launching the partnership in 2011, Fairmont Pittsburgh has donated over $27,000 to Grow Pittsburgh for various initiatives including its Edible Schoolyard program.
 
“We are thrilled to count Fairmont Pittsburgh as a key partner as we make much needed improvements to Braddock Farms,” said Grow Pittsburgh Executive Director Julie Butcher Pezzino.
  
The improvements include a custom-built shipping container to be used as a storage facility and office space at the urban farm in Braddock. Grow Pittsburgh also operates an apprentice program at Braddock Farms for aspiring farmers, as well as a summer youth intern program that provides hands-on training to local high school students in sustainable agricultural production. Growing food in an urban environment is an important part of Grow Pittsburgh’s overall mission as it serves as a platform for educational programming and provides much needed access to fresh, local produce in communities that are often lacking access.
 
Julie Abramovic, public relations manager at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, called Braddock Farms an “educational resource center” that teaches school groups and volunteers about sustainability and farming. The grant was able to provide shaded areas and seating for groups assisting at the farm as well as storage and coolers for produce.
 
To unveil the updated farm and conclude the year-long project, Fairmont Pittsburgh hosted a check presentation ceremony and employee workday, where employees assisted with putting the farm to bed for winter at Braddock Farms.
 
Abramovic said hotel management was excited to see the project come to fruition but noted that the partnership is an ongoing relationship and that the Fairmont is looking forward to participating in future Grow Pittsburgh projects. 
 
Source: Julie Abramovic, Fairmont Pittsburgh

Cure chef and owner to open second Lawrenceville restaurant

The social experience of shared, small-plates dining will shape the aesthetic and the cuisine at Morcilla, the second restaurant from Justin Severino, award-winning chef and owner of Cure

Severino recently announced plans to open Morcilla, his second Lawrenceville venture, in summer 2015.
 
Located at 3519 Butler St., Spanish tapas spot Morcilla will be just a few blocks from Cure, Severino’s critically lauded urban Mediterranean restaurant. Hilary Prescott Severino, Justin’s wife and business partner, will co-own Morcilla and oversee the wine program, similar to her role at Cure. Spain will dominate the beverage options with a wide variety of wines and sherries as well as hard-to-find Spanish cider.
 
“I love Spanish food, and coming up in the industry I cooked under serious Spanish-trained chefs like Manresa’s David Kinch,” Severino said. “Spanish cooking has been a major influence on what I do at Cure, and I’m thrilled to be bringing a complete Spanish dining experience to Pittsburgh. One of my favorite aspects of Spanish cuisine is the social experience of shared, small plates dining. Morcilla is going to be a true neighborhood spot, a place to relax with a glass of wine and a quick bite at the bar after work, or a family-style dinner with friends.”
 
The 3,800-square-foot restaurant will boast a 54-seat dining room, 10-seat bar, 6-seat chef’s counter and 40-seat private dining room, making Morcilla larger and more casual than Cure. The menu will foster a convivial environment with a focus on sharable small plates and larger dishes served family-style. Severino said he envisions Morcilla as a neighborhood spot where one could stop on their way home from work for a full-blown meal or snacks with a cocktail.
 
The menu, like Cure, will focus on meats and charcuterie and will be driven, according to Severino, by a charbroiler, a smoker and la plancha (a flattop grill). The name Morcilla actually means blood sausage, though the definition can vary regionally.  
 
The tapas will include traditional mariscos tapa, consisting largely of raw, pickled and smoked shellfish. Mason jars will be both the preservation and serving vessels for the Escabeche y Conservas, which will include duck with fruit jam, marinated cheeses and grilled tomato and zucchini, all served with grilled bread. Pintxos, skewered bites traditionally served in bars, will feature octopus, pork belly and, of course, morcilla.
 
Severino also noted that the larger site of Morcilla will allow for dishes he can’t currently try at Cure, like more canning and a larger space to butcher whole animals. The kitchen will include a dedicated curing station, where executive sous chef Nate Hobart will create both Spanish and Italian-style charcuterie for Morcilla and Cure, respectively.
 
Similar to Cure, Severino will dictate Morcilla's design, sourcing counters, cabinets, tables and chairs from Pittsburgh’s Kramer Customs. Polished old-wood floors and ceilings and exposed brick walls accented by woodblock art prints by the nearby Tugboat Print Shop will give the space a lived-in, neighborhood vibe. 
 
Severino grew up in a small town in Ohio and has worked in fine dining establishments in several cities, but said the atmosphere of Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville specifically, feels like home. “It’s a blue-collar town,” he said, “and [my wife and I] really relate to it.”
 
Morcilla will be open summer 2015 for dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, with lunch and dinner served on Saturdays and Sundays.
 
 
Source: Cure, Justin Severino

Local working mothers find support at The Mom Con

When local attorney Natalie Kovacic gave birth to her son Joey four years ago, she was starting her career and balancing motherhood. Kovacic said she struggled with this transition, like many women. And, after attending a business conference, she came up with an idea to build a network for Pittsburgh working mothers: The Mom Con.
 
Last year, Kovacic created a one-day Mom Con event with the idea that there are two sides to every mom: the goals you have for your children and the goals you have as a woman.
 
The Mom Con returns on Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15, as a two-day conference to empower and inspire modern and working moms through motivational speakers, workshops directed to the working mom, a retail marketplace, lunch, and even a bit of pampering. Childcare is available at an additional cost. Because moms are often the ones behind the camera, Kovacic said the conference will offer attendees an opportunity for headshot photos of their own.
 
“The conference has the same goal -- empowering and connecting moms -- but there's a lot that's different this year,” Kovacic said about the growth of the 2014 conference. “We have 10 new speakers offering more content and covering a wider range of topics that are important to our attendees.”
 
The Mom Con expects 175 moms to attend the event at the North Pittsburgh Marriott Hotel in Cranberry Township. Guest speakers set to share tricks of the trade include Helen Hanna Casey, president of Howard Hanna; Dr. Amanda Jordan, pediatric and pregnancy chiropractor; and Cooper Monroe, co-founder of The Motherhood, Inc.
 
In addition to career tips, attendees and speakers will discuss balancing it all, personally and professionally. Kovacic said speakers will discuss everything from finding inspiration to health to finance.
 
“I would like for moms to feel like they now have a community, a support system, to help them on their journey to growing or starting their business dreams,” says Nicole Mildren, marketing director of The Mom Con.
 
Kovacic echoed the sentiment that The Mom Con’s most important role is creating a community for area mothers, where women can find friends, mentors and support.
 
As for the future of The Mom Con, Kovacic said she hopes it will continue as an annual event that discusses the unique obstacles mothers in business face. She added that one day she may expand the conference to other cities, but, for now, her goal is to continue to support mothers here in Pittsburgh. 
 
“[The Mom Con is] an annual event that continues to grow, but also a thriving community of moms that support one another throughout the year. That's really what The Mom Con was made for. To learn together, connect with one another and keep that connection long after the conference is over,” she said.
 
To register for the event, please visit themomcon.com/registration/.
 
Source: The Mom Con, Natalie Kovacic

Farm to Table Harvest Tasting celebrates the season, The Market Kitchen and new food startups

A new shared-use commercial kitchen in the Strip District will make its debut at the third annual Farm to Table Harvest Tasting on Nov. 16, offering inspiration to home cooks planning meals for the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday feasting frenzy.

A VIP party before the Pittsburgh Public Market and Wigle Whiskey event will celebrate the opening of The Market Kitchen at the Public Market and the new food startups making use of the shared commercial kitchen.
 
More than 60 area vendors will provide a cornucopia of artisanal cheeses and breads, local meats, fruits and vegetables, sauces, jams, baked goods, craft beers, ciders, cocktails, wines and more. Products will be available to sample and purchase.    

This year's Farm to Table event will be held for the first time at the Public Market and Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District. Public Market vendors will participate at the venue's location at 2401 Penn Ave., and 24th Street will be closed with Farm to Table vendors lining the way, connecting the event to Wigle Whiskey at 2401 Smallman St.
 
The holiday event will also celebrate the launch of The Market Kitchen at the Public Market -- a shared-use commercial kitchen for food startups that want to start a business without the costs of a brick-and-mortar. During the VIP event at The Market Kitchen, chefs will offer exclusive sampling opportunities of hot mulled cider and cider cocktails, local craft brews and an exclusive Thanksgiving-inspired recipe book.
 
Kelly James, The Market Kitchen’s kitchen manager, explained that the seasonal cookbook was put together with recipes from Public Market vendors, chefs from across the city and future businesses using the new kitchen.
 
James also gave a preview of some of the Market Kitchen businesses participating in the VIP tasting. She said Root System Juice Company will debut a new recipe and Mix Salad Concept, a salad delivery company from Rachael Bane and Lia Vaccaro, will feature fresh salad ideas and samples. Second Breakfast, a breakfast-inspired venture featuring glazed waffles and crepes, will debut at the event. This new vendor to the Public Market will open on Nov. 19. And, Voodoo Brewery will be there sampling beer. James said Voodoo will soon launch a food truck that will use the kitchen as a food prep home base.
 
James explained that The Market Kitchen is a way to assist new businesses, from vendors to food trucks to caterers. She said this could be the startups' first step on the road to a bigger venture. 
 
“Now, they’re actually able to market themselves and live their dream,” she said about the kitchen’s opening and the ability to launch a food business without paying for a storefront. “It’s really exciting to give them a start.”

The Harvest Tasting is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16. Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids, though children ages 2 and under are free. The day of the event, Harvest Tasting ticket prices will be $35 and $15, respectively. The VIP Preview is from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with tickets at $50, which includes the Harvest Tasting. 
 
 
Source: Pittsburgh Public Market, Kelly James, Farm to Table

Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey expand distribution throughout Pittsburgh

The popularity of craft beer in Pittsburgh means there's always a market for a new kid on the block. This time, it's the seasonal and core brews from California-based Port Brewing getting ready to expand distribution throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Already a fixture in Philadephia, Port Brewing will kick off its expansion in the Pittsburgh area with events around the city starting Nov. 17.  
 
Per an agreement with Wilson-McGinley, Port Brewing, which is headquartered out of San Marcos, Calif., will begin selling core and seasonal products from its Port Brewing and Lost Abbey labels in the newly added market this year. The company’s full portfolio of offerings will be available next fall.
 
Adam Martinez, media and marketing director for Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey, said the Port Brewing side offers American reds and hoppy beers, while The Lost Abbey brand produces the brewery’s Belgian-style and sour beers. Some of the first seasonal favorites to hit the Pittsburgh market will be the High Tide, which boasts a hoppy flavor, and Santa’s Little Helper, an imperial stout.
 
“We certainly did our homework and due diligence to find the right wholesaler partner to represent our brands in the western PA region,” said Brian Sauls, national sales manager for Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. “We feel Wilson-McGinley represents the same core values as Lost Abbey/Port Brewing. And, that contagious passion and enthusiasm for great craft beer, shared with our current amazing group of distributors, makes this a partnership we are looking forward to.”
 
Fritz Wilson and Jack McGinley opened Wilson-McGinley, Inc. in Lawrenceville in 1949. They currently represent 12 counties in western Pennsylvania and handle more than 150 brands.
 
To help serve the market, Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey have hired their first East Coast sales representative, Matt Pushinsky -- who has previously worked in Pennsylvania with Belukus Importing and in California with Sovereign Brands.
 
“Pittsburgh is an exciting and enthusiastic market to work in,” Pushinsky said. “I look forward to opening the new territory and working with Wilson-McGinley to bring Port and Lost Abbey to western PA.”
 
Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey Chief Operating Owner Tomme Arthur said the Pittsburgh expansion was attractive because of the beer’s success in Philadelphia. 
 
“The people in the great state of Pennsylvania have embraced our beer,” Arthur said.
 
Founded in 2006, Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey produce an extensive line-up of continental and American-inspired ales and lagers. The company’s beers, many of which are aged in oak barrels for 12 months or longer, are recognized for their complexity, unique flavors and bold styles.  
 
To celebrate the new partnership, Arthur will travel to Pittsburgh for a week of events at bars, six-pack shops, grocery stores and restaurants. The schedule can be found at lostabbey.com/pittsburgh/.
 
 
Source: Brewbound.com, Tomme Arthur, Adam Martinez

Highmark introduces first-of-its-kind sleep store in Homestead

It's something everyone needs, but far too few get enough of. And the inability to get it is, quite literally, keeping people up at night. That's why Highmark Inc. is opening a first-of-its-kind store that could help people finally find what may be eluding them: a good night's sleep.  
 
Construction is underway on REMWorks Sleep Store, a new retail location at The Waterfront in Homestead. With a planned December opening, the shop will feature a wide range of solutions and products for people dealing with sleeplessness, sleep apnea, snoring and insomnia.
 
"Having trouble sleeping is something that, unfortunately, most people will face at some point in their lives," said Amy Phillips, director of REMWorks. "But, fortunately, with this new store, we have the opportunity to provide guidance to assist people in getting a good night's sleep. Our highly trained licensed sleep coaches will work with people to understand why they're having trouble sleeping and develop a plan so they can get better sleep.”
 
REMWorks is named for the restorative REM -- or rapid eye movement -- cycle of sleep. A certified Durable Medical Equipment Center, the REMWorks retail store will carry about 75 percent retail products and 25 percent prescription items, said Phillips. Not only is REMWorks the first retail and prescription sleep emporium in the region, Phillips said, but possibly the country.
 
"REMWorks Sleep Store is not a mattress store and it is not a sleep lab," Phillips said. "Rather, it is a sleep store unlike anything that's currently in the market. In a relaxing, comfortable retail environment, REMWorks will offer products to address various sleep problems and provide education about treatment options to help people get the sleep they need."
 
For those who've been tested and determined by their doctor to be suffering from sleep apnea, the sleep coaches at REMWorks will be able to provide CPAP machines as well as fit them for accessories used to treat sleep apnea, including CPAP masks from many different manufacturers.
 
Phillips said the store will feature 40 to 50 different masks, so customers can get the best fit and best comfort to suit their needs. One CPAP is so small, Phillips said, that it can fit in the palm of your hand and can recharge with a car charger – the perfect device for someone traveling or even camping. Phillips also discussed a new CPAP alternative the shop will carry, the Apniciure; which is not a mask, but suctions to the tongue.
 
Phillips said REMWorks will offer such a wide array of masks and CPAP devices because, from a storage perspective, this DME focuses solely on sleep.
 
And, by focusing on sleep, she said she hopes to facilitate care for those who need prescription sleep products. She said many people who suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep issues don’t see themselves as sick, so they don’t care to shop at DME centers that offer walkers or other medical items. REMWorks is the first DME of its kind to only offer prescription sleep products with relaxing retail merchandise.
 
People who already have equipment will be able to visit the store to ensure it is properly fitted for maximum effectiveness. REMWorks will accept most health insurance, including regional and national insurance carriers.
 
In addition to leading brand-name CPAP devices, the store will also carry an assortment of treatment options ranging from sleep masks to music and lighting solutions, soothing bedding and pillows, teas and aromatherapy sleep aids as well as white noise machines and even sleep solutions for children.
 
Sleep coaches will also offer education, individualized sleep plans and over-the-counter treatments for the non-medical causes for a variety of sleep issues like insomnia, restless leg syndrome, teeth grinding, sleep terrors, sleep walking and circadian rhythm problems.
 
REMWorks is the first brick-and-mortar retail location conceived out of Highmark's Business Innovation and Development department, and is a for-profit subsidiary of Highmark. The Business Innovation and Development group focuses on creating growth opportunities for Highmark by developing new and innovative products, services and business models.
 
"We saw a market demand that was not being met, and that's what led to the development of the sleep store concept," said Paul Puopolo, Highmark vice president of Business Innovation and Development. "Through collaboration and relationship-building, we are able to develop unique concepts that bring value to Highmark and, most importantly, our customers. The lack of a good night's sleep does not just affect your mood and productivity. It also can contribute to serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and depression. That's why having a store like this is so important – and why the opening of REMWorks Sleep Store is a proud milestone for our department and the entire company." 
 
 
Source: Doug Braunsdorf, Senior Public Relations Analyst Highmark Inc., Amy Phillips, Highmark Inc.
 
 

Local chocolatier plans $2.5 million expansion in Lawrenceville, creating 51 jobs

Continuing to advance his JOBS1st PA initiative, Gov. Tom Corbett announced last week that Edward Marc Brands, Inc., a manufacturer of gourmet chocolates, will expand operations in Allegheny County and create 51 jobs in the City of Pittsburgh.
 
Edward Marc Brands, operator of The Milk Shake Factory in South Side, has entered into a lease of a 50,000-square-foot space in Lawrenceville on 38th Street at the former Geyer printing site near the Allegheny River and 40th Street Bridge. The company plans to invest more than $2.5 million at the new facility, and has also committed to creating at least 51 new jobs and retaining 36 positions during the next three years.
 
“Pennsylvania is the keystone of American manufacturing, and by partnering with companies like Edward Marc Brands, we are promoting the growth of this job-sustaining industry,” Gov. Corbett said. “I am pleased that we are helping fourth-generation chocolate manufacturers grow where the family tradition started: right here in Pennsylvania.”
 
The Lawrenceville expansion will support the newly launched line of confections called Snappers, a gourmet sweet snack made with pretzels, caramel and chocolate. Edward Marc Brands, Inc. is a boutique-style chocolatier founded by the Edwards family in 1914. The Snappers line has received nationwide media attention on programs like The Today Show, Good Morning America and Fox Business TV.
 
Edward Marc received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development, including a $100,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant that facilitates investment and job creation, $51,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits and $22,950 grant for WEDnetPA that will be used to train the expanding workforce. The company was approved to receive a $500,000 loan from the Machinery and Equipment Loan Fund.
 
“Our family business is built upon innovation and the dedication of hardworking Americans. We are honored to be recognized as a leader in job creation and food manufacturing in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Chris Edwards, Edward Marc Brands, Inc. CEO.
 
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the Governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
 
Source: Office of Governor Tom Corbett

Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square completes $15 million renovation

In an attempt to make Pittsburgh's only waterfront hotel as beautiful as the views it offers of the city's skyline, the Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square recently finished an extensive $15 million renovation. 

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Pyramid Hotel Group announced the redesign of the hotel's lobby, meeting space, Trackside Restaurant and 399 transformed guest rooms, including 21 suites.
 
“The transformation of Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square combined with the exemplary service of our associates will help to propel it to new heights and reinforce its status as a landmark hotel in the city,” said Roger Life, Sheraton Pittsburgh at Station Square general manager. 
 
Guest rooms and suites have been modernized to include new furniture, wall coverings, carpeting and in-room guest safes. The guest rooms feature stunning views of Pittsburgh’s skyline, the Monongahela River or historic Mount Washington.
 
“There isn’t a hotel that has the ability to look onto the city like ours does,” Life said of the scenic views.
 
Trackside Restaurant, the hotel’s dining venue, has received a new look offering casual dining in a comfortable setting. Life said Trackside offers highboy tables with individual televisions for business or weekend travelers.
 
The hotel at 300 W. Station Square Drive has also refreshed more than 30,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space featuring new wall and ceiling upgrades, carpet and lighting. The centerpiece of the meeting space renovation is the 9,750-square-foot ballroom venue for meetings, workshops and seminars. The full lobby redesign includes new carpet, wall covering, lighting and furniture upgrades. In the transformed lobby, guests can enjoy complimentary wireless connections -- and all rooms offer high-speed Internet.
 
“It’s a lovely transformation for the property,” Life said. “And the city of Pittsburgh.”
 
Guests who book before December 30, 2014, are invited to experience the newly renovated hotel with a special offer for stays through March 31, 2015. For more information, visit www.sheratonpittsburghstationsquare.com/renovation or call 888-325-3535.
 
Source: Roger Life, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

Colcom Foundation continues support for Paris to Pittsburgh program with $350,000 award

Paris-style sidewalk cafes and facelifts for Downtown buildings have just gotten more affordable, thanks to a recent gift from the Colcom Foundation. 

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership announced a $350,000 award last week from the Colcom Foundation designated to continue the success of the façade renovations and outdoor dining activations through the Paris to Pittsburgh program. The program provides a 50 percent matching grant, of up to $30,000, to Downtown building and business owners interested in completing exterior façade renovations.
 
"Through their investment in the Paris to Pittsburgh program, Colcom Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to restoring and revitalizing properties throughout Downtown, ensuring that Downtown Pittsburgh remains vibrant and beautiful," said Jeremy Waldrup, PDP President and CEO. "Many buildings and businesses have had the opportunity to benefit from this program and we look forward to working with many more as a result of this gift."
 
Colcom Foundation has supported the Paris to Pittsburgh program since its inception in 2007. Initially, the program was designed to encourage the activation of outdoor sidewalk dining at local restaurants, evoking a Parisian atmosphere.
 
In 2011, the program was expanded to allow for full building façade renovations. To date, the program has funded 73 projects in Downtown Pittsburgh, resulting in $4.7 million in private investment, of which $1.7 million has been funded through the grant program.
 
Waldrup said about 90 percent of outdoor dining in Downtown was supported by Paris to Pittsburgh, with Market Square’s outdoor dining being an especially visible example of the program coming to life. Waldrup said all of Market Square’s al fresco dining options have participated in Paris to Pittsburgh.
 
"By restoring historic facades and opening restaurants to outdoor dining, Paris to Pittsburgh draws on the charm of European cities," said Colcom Foundation Vice President of Philanthropy John Rohe. "It builds community. With eyes on the street, it promotes security."
 
The Specialty Luggage Company building, located Downtown at 915 Liberty Ave., recently finished a complete exterior façade renovation. With design work undertaken by Peter Margittai Architects, LLC, upgrades included the removal of aluminum panels and the security gate and the replacement of the entire first floor storefront system and the second floor window system. Additionally, the stone façade was cleaned, windows were restored and painted, and new signage and lighting were installed.
 
Source: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Koolkat Designs to take over big red barn as The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh

Since its inception eight years ago, Mt. Lebanon art boutique Koolkat Designs has nurtured local artists and fostered a supportive creative community throughout Pittsburgh. Now, the artist collective is going big, with a re-branding, an expansion into a roomy red barn, and a partnership with one of the neighborhood's most recognizable family businesses.
 
In spring 2015, Koolkat Designs will relocate to the iconic big red barn where Banksville Road becomes McFarland Road in Mt. Lebanon. Koolkat owner Kate McGrady, creative director Kate Wagle Hitmar and Bob, Chuck and Doug Satterfield are working together to create this 10,000-square-foot art and cultural center in the South Hills. The Satterfield brothers are the third-generation owners of Rollier's Hardware; the business occupied the barn space from 1953 to 1994 before moving to its current location on Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon.
 
The new art space will continue in the Koolkat tradition, fully dedicated to showcasing the talents and creations of greater Pittsburgh artists, though the business will be renamed The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh.
 
The building's barn facade appealed to McGrady. 

"There are many art barns throughout the United States. The arts and barns are a natural fit,” she said. “Artists and farmers share a history of producing, crafting by hand, creating something new from the ground up and valuing their communities.”  
 
This expansion was born from Koolkat’s success in the community as the go-to spot for handcrafted jewelry, accessories and art made locally. In its eight years in business on Washington Road, Koolkat grew from 22 local artists to more than 200.
 
"We have truly amazing and loyal customers," McGrady said. "We have ideas and talent that far exceed our existing store's capacity. The Pittsburgh region is overflowing with creative energy, and we want to serve that need in the South Hills.”
 
Wagle Hitmar said she attributes some of this support to the “Buy Local” and “Support Small Business” movements. 
 
"People want to support the arts and their community, and feel connected to the businesses with which they interact. The Satterfields, [McGrady] and I are all Pittsburgh-born and raised; our love for the city is innate. When people shop with us, they're not only supporting our small business, but the creative enterprises of hundreds of fellow Pittsburghers," said Wagle Hitmar.
 
The Satterfields still own the art barn, situated at a well-traveled location not far from where Mt. Lebanon and Dormont meet the City of Pittsburgh. Doug Satterfield, who creates ceramics, explained the need for the Satterfields and McGrady to join forces.

"We decided to put our best qualities together, combine our strengths and to bring something unique to Pittsburgh at a scale not usually seen," Doug Satterfield said. "We share the vision and want to see this develop."  
 
The barn will undergo substantial interior and exterior renovations in the coming months. Berryman Associates Architects of Shadyside are consulting on the design. Tedco Construction Corp. of Carnegie will manage the construction.  
 
The first floor will include a significantly expanded showroom and a café with a performance space for live events, such as musical performances, lectures and life drawing. Larry Lagattuta of Enrico Biscotti will supply artisan foods to the cafe. The downstairs, affectionately dubbed "The Underground," will have additional showroom space, a revolving exhibition gallery and a dedicated teaching space.  
 
In addition to a fresh coat of paint and a new color scheme, 1635 McFarland Road will see other improvements including a re-graded parking lot, a new main entrance, outdoor seating, landscaping, lighting and space for art installations. McGrady said she plans to take full advantage of the outdoor space, using it to host food trucks, farm stands and outdoor eating.  
 
"The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh will be a destination, and help bridge the South Hills to the Greater Pittsburgh arts community. We look forward to collaborating with this community to enhance everyone's exposure and experience with local art, music and food," McGrady said.  
 

Source: Koolkat Designs
 

Haunted History: Senator John Heinz History Center

Before it was the Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St. in the Strip District had a much more chilling legacy.
 
No, we’re not talking ghost stories. Well, not yet.
 
In the late 1800s, the building hosted The Chautauqua Lake Ice Company, which stockpiled ice harvested from New York lakes and shipped to Pittsburgh via railcar. 
 
This ice company, which delivered ice to residents in the days before refrigeration, burned down in 1893 and continued operation as The Chautauqua Lake Ice Company. 
 
Unfortunately, the worst was not behind the ice company. The second reconstructed building caught fire in 1898-- and this time it was more serious.
 
Museum Project Manager Lauren Uhl called it a “spectacular fire.” However, the building was reconstructed a third time and stood for good in the same year, 1898.
 
“People have refrigerators and they don’t need ice so much anymore,” Uhl said about the 1950s as she walked me through the site’s history.
 
The ice warehouse closed in 1952 and was sold to Adelman Lumber Company. Uhl said the building served as warehouse space until it was acquired by the Heinz History Center, which opened in 1996.
 
“We wanted something that reflected Pittsburgh’s industrial history,” Uhl said about what made the old ice warehouse an attractive museum space.
 
The building’s history is not lost in the modern museum. Uhl noted intact exposed brick, open space, metal doors, windows and beams from its original warehouse use.

“I’ve always felt in some ways that our building is our best artifact,” she said. 
 
The 1898 fire is also remembered at the History Center through office urban legends and ghost stories.
 
"Our security guards here are definitely prone to spreading tall tales,” said Brady Smith, senior communications manager at the history center. “Whether they’re true or not is up to whoever is listening!"
 
Staff, nighttime security guards and visitors have claimed that supernatural activity happens on the fifth floor, reporting strange sounds and apparitions interacting with exhibits.
 
"I’ve personally never heard [or] seen any ghosts in my four years here, for whatever that’s worth," Smith said.
 
Uhl agreed that she had never experienced anything supernatural at work.
 
“It’s a terrific building and I love working here,” she said, noting the site and the Strip District's significant role in Pittsburgh’s history.

"Ghosts or not, it’s a great place to work,” Uhl added with a laugh.
 
 
Source:  Lauren Uhl, www.heinzhistorycenter.org, Brady Smith

Meet Kristin Saunders, the city's new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator

The City of Pittsburgh’s planning department named Kristin Saunders as its new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator. 
 
A St. Louis native, Saunders comes to Pittsburgh by way of studying architecture at the University of Kansas, followed by working in San Francisco with Gehl Architects.
 
“[Pittsburgh has a] continuous urban fabric that I think is really beautiful,” she says of her new town.
 
Saunders says she was attracted to Pittsburgh because of the work the city is currently doing in public spaces, pedestrian support from Mayor Bill Peduto and how quickly city projects have been completed. Saunders called Pittsburgh’s public spaces high quality and noted the accessible waterfront as something that drew her to the city.
 
“It’s sort of nice being brand-new to the city and the position,” Saunders says, adding that she's making it her job outside of work to learn Pittsburgh. She says she's been having fun getting lost in her new back yard, taking bike rides and walks.
 
She says she's interested in working with pedestrian plazas and spaces where cars, bikes and pedestrians have to interact. Saunders will be doing this type of work with the three new separated bike lanes, locations TBD, coming next year. Saunders said one challenge she'll work on is connecting the new protected Penn Avenue bike lane to Point State Park.
 
Saunders explains that the city’s goals of connecting and extending trail and lanes will help citizens choose non-car transportation.
 
“I think biking and walking should be an easy choice,” she says.
 
Source: Bike PGH, Kristin Saunders

U.S. Steel keeps headquarters in Pennsylvania, invests in Mon Valley

As part of Manufacturing Day, Gov. Tom Corbett and officials from the United States Steel Corporation announced that the company will remain headquartered in Pennsylvania. 
 
The state is committing $30.7 million in grants to U.S. Steel as part of the $187 million initiative to support 4,300 Pennsylvania employees and expand Mon Valley Works operations. The company will re-line one of its Mon Valley Works blast furnaces at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock and make improvements to its railroad transportation infrastructure. 
 
“Pennsylvania is the keystone of American manufacturing,” said Corbett. “By addressing all 15 recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, we’ve worked with the private sector to leverage more than $4.9 billion in total investment to create more than 22,000 manufacturing and related jobs, and retained more than 58,000 manufacturing and related jobs. The backbone of U. S. Steel is its workers, and, today, we're investing in the proud Pennsylvania men and women who forge this iron and who can compete and win against any global competitor. When we ‘Make it In PA,’ you know it's done right."   
 
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
 
“Today, steelmaking is one of the most highly advanced types of manufacturing, and our industry creates real and substantial economic value,” said Mario Longhi, President and CEO of U.S. Steel. “We’re proud to make a material that is vital to building and maintaining a modern society. And we’re proud that so much of that work happens right here in Pennsylvania.”
 
Gov. Corbett’s visit to U. S. Steel was part of a statewide effort to promote Pennsylvania manufacturing and address all of the 15 recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council. In 2012, the 24-member Council outlined 15 key recommendations to help Pennsylvania remain competitive in today’s global economy.
 
Administration efforts to address all 15 recommendations include strategic investments in workforce development and education, creating a state energy policy, investing in infrastructure improvements via Act 89, opening new domestic and international markets, implementing tax and regulatory reform, improving access to capital, and making government work better by encouraging innovation.
 
Projects supported by the Corbett administration are expected to leverage more than $4.9 billion in private investment and create more than 22,000 manufacturing and related jobs and retain more than 58,000 manufacturing and related jobs.
2148 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts