The former Don Allen Auto Center on Liberty Avenue has sat vacant for
three years, posing a huge challenge to groups wanting to redevelop the
site. Despite its superb location at the entrance to Bloomfield from
Shadyside and Oakland, community groups concerned with traffic
congestion halted a proposed $230 million hotel project in 2008. Now,
however, it looks as if
may have better luck with their plans for a new 56,782-square-foot
fitness center at the Don Allen location, as they try to avoid past
The site, located on Liberty between
South Pacific and South Atlantic streets, contains the former Mazda
building and adjacent parking lot, but not the three-story brick
building at the corner of Liberty and Baum Blvd, which may become a
hotel at a later date. LA Fitness proposes tearing down the Mazda
building and constructing a new facility that would house a fitness
center and indoor parking under one roof. The unique design would help
reduce the traffic impact, while preserving the streetscape aesthetics.
LA Fitness approached City Councilman Bill Peduto
with their plans in January.
been having meetings since February with different stakeholders. There
have been a lot of questions about traffic and parking impact on the
neighborhood," says Peduto. "There's a lot of issues but they've been
great about answering them and using their architects and development
team to really engage the community's concerns."
next step is for LA Fitness to go before the Planning Commission with
their design. If they're approved, construction might begin as early as
this summer, which Peduto believes would benefit the community both
economically and health-wise.
usually offers low-cost memberships the community can afford. At the
other end of the neighborhood, they've closed down the Rec Center. Even
though you've still got the Exercise Warehouse
that is for one type of clientele. This would be a more general
community clientele. It will be a positive step for the neighborhood,"
says Peduto.Sign up
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Writer: John Farley
Source: Bill Peduto, City of Pittsburgh
Photograph copyright John Farley