Restaurant and bar concepts similar to Nakama, Round Corner Cantina, and the Firehouse Lounge are in the works for the former Garden Theater block in the Central Northside.
Developer Wayne Zukin, a principal with Zukin Realty, told an assembled URA board that his team, Allegheny City Development Group LLC, held letters of intent to work with the owners of those three popular Pittsburgh establishments.
Phase one of the redevelopment project will transform the Garden Theater and several adjacent buildings into mixed use spaces, with storefronts containing dining and retail on the first floor, and apartments above. Zukin says the owners of Nakama, a Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar, are looking specifically at the former Masonic Lodge building for a restaurant concept.
“We don’t want to delay any longer,” Zukin says. “We want to get started with the tenants that we have in hand, and get the project kickstarted.”
Zukin hopes this first phase of development will create enough critical mass to generate interest and tenants for the remaining structures along North Avenue and Federal Street.
Zukin was awarded the development rights to the Garden Theater block in October of 2010. He says stabilization work will begin within the next six weeks, and hopes to be out of the design phase and under construction this coming spring.
“I think it’s going to be a great asset to the Northside, and it’s a project that’s been a longtime coming,” Zukin says. “It’s been tricky, but I think we're finally figuring it out.”
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Wayne Zukin