Important Meeting regarding the restoration and redevelopment of the St. Mary’s Academy Building and the current Masterplan for the site.

Tuesday October 1, 2013
7:00 pm
St. Mary’s Lower Lyceum
333 45th Street

Please join us on Tuesday, October 1st at 7 pm at St. Mary’s Lyceum (333 45th Street)  to learn more regarding the plans for the redevelopment of St. Mary’s Church and St. Mary’s Academy Building on 46th Street.  Joe Huber from the Catholic Cemeteries Association will present a master plan for the site that includes a plan to restore and reuse these buildings, and the potential vacation of a portion of 46th Street.  Please come out to learn more.

Dive Bar & Grill – 5147 Butler Street

A community meeting was held on Monday, August 26th at Goodwill as part of the Lawrenceville Responsible Hospitality Community Process. Owners Clint Kuskie, Gordon Judge, and Alison Judge were present to share their plans with residents and business owners in the community. All have backgrounds in the restaurant industry.   They hope to be open in early October 2013.  Their goal, as presented, is to provide the area with a casual, yet upscale tavern style experience that focuses on unique twists on traditional culinary items.  They intend to provide a comfortable, familiar setting but also offering refined and contemporary finishes.  They feel that they can offer a variety of food and beverages prepared at a price point that allows guests of various income levels to frequent regularly while still enjoying the variety and quality.  The community was supportive of the concept and the business at the close of the meeting. For additional details you can visit their website at www.divebarandgrille.com
Some of the issues discussed included the following:

  • Days/ Hours of operation:  Monday – Sunday; 11 am – 2 am and will modify the Sunday – Wednesday closing hours depending on the demand for late night kitchen hours of operation.
  • Food/ Alcohol Price Points:  Similar to menu and price points offered at Wexford location and can be found on website.
  • Number of Employees:  10-15 and they intend to work with Goodwill and through the Lawrenceville WORKS! Program in an effort to find local employees.
  • Entertainment:  Unlikely due to the size of the facility and the upper floor apartments (there are two rental units above).  They will be installing insulation and soundproofing measures to limit any sound from disturbing neighbors.
  • Site Plan/ Facade:  Refurbishing existing sign.  Significant cosmetic upgrades include: new bar, bar top, bar back and draft system; new kitchen and equipment; fully updated restrooms and fixtures;  potentially installing accordion -style windows on first level; installing window planters for foliage under 4 windows facing Butler St.; upgrading electric throughout building; new HVAC units for business and living space.  Seating for 50 – 60 patrons.
  • Recycling? Yes.
  • Security Cameras?  Yes.

The owners have also committed to continue working with the community as they move towards their opening and once they open.  They have agreed to sign a community agreement that will outline issues of concern for the community as they arise.  They will also be reaching out to the community and specifically nearby neighbors,  to plan for a meet and greet closer to the opening. Please call LU with any additional questions or concerns – 412.802.7220.

Gus’s – 4717 Butler Street (Former Back Room Bar and Grill)

7.26.2013

A placard has been posted at 4717 Butler Street for a proposed new restaurant/ bar.  George Harritos, former owner of Harris Grill, is the proposed owner. We are working to schedule a community meeting for late July/ early August.  The menu – still in development – will be completely gluten-free. Sandwiches will be made with pita, “gyro-style.” Grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat is on the menu. The restaurant also will offer coffee and craft brews.  A community meeting has been scheduled for August 1st at 6:30p at the Boys & Girls Club (4600 Butler Street)

 

Update: 8.2.2013

4717 Butler Street (Former Back Room Bar and Grill) – Gus’s

A placard has been posted at 4717 Butler Street for a proposed new restaurant/ bar.  George Haritos, former owner of Harris Grill, is the proposed owner. A community meeting was held on Thursday August 1st and the community was supportive of the proposed design and operations.  The menu – still in development – will be completely gluten-free. Sandwiches will be made with pita, “gyro-style.” Grass-fed, antibiotic-free meat is on the menu. The restaurant also will offer coffee and craft brews.

New Amsterdam Addition

New Amsterdam held a community meeting June 2, 2011 when the deck was initially proposed.  At that time, they met with the community regarding the development of a rooftop dining space.  The community was generally supportive as long as measures to screen the rooftop and control the noise were included in the plan.  They have begun to take action on this development by applying for their extension of premise liquor license.  Lawrenceville United has requested updated development plans and information, and nothing has been received to date.

Lawrenceville United Housing Request for Proposals Released with Updated Properties EXTENDED

The Application Deadline has been extended until August 9th!

Lawrenceville United (LU)[1] works to improve the overall quality of life for Lawrenceville residents and stakeholders.  LU has worked over the past twelve years to eliminate blight throughout Lower, Central, and Upper Lawrenceville by targeting nuisance and problem properties and prioritizing the demolitions, acquisition and redevelopment of such properties.

In 2012, we launched our Vacant House Reuse Program, and sold one of our homes to a first-time home buyer who is currently renovating the home in Upper Lawrenceville.

As part of our current program, three properties have been designated potential home-ownership projects for current and potential Lawrenceville residents. We are inviting responsible and interested people looking to become an owner-occupant of one of our LU-owned properties to submit written proposals and a bid for one of the three LU-owned properties LU-owned properties. We are hoping that the potential owners and residents will help Lawrenceville United continue to revitalize the community through creative reuse of vacant property.

To read the complete RFP click here.



[1] Lawrenceville United (LU) where referenced in this document refers to all LU staff, board members, and housing committee members.

Industry Public House Expansion

A community meeting for Industry Public House was held on June 11th.  We had about 20 residents in attendance.  The owners presented their plan to expand their dining area. Industry has received no violations since opening in March, 2012.   They will be expanding their current kitchen, and then putting more dining table seating in the new expanded area.  They will net about 30 additional seats through the expansion. They plan to use this space, which will be somewhat separated from the main area by the brick wall and small openings that can be closed off with custom built barn doors, for those who are looking for a quieter dining experience, for private events, meetings, etc.  There will be no high-top tables, only dining table seating.  There will be a small serving bar.  There will also be operational windows.  They had considered sidewalk seating but are no longer pursuing that now because of the width of the sidewalk.  By zoning code, they are required to provide 11 parking spaces.  Right now the owners have 8 spaces at the rear of their business, and they will be installing bike parking, In addition they have an agreement with two other leased spaces in Eden Way.  With these spaces and the bike parking they have met the requirement.  Everyone at the meeting acknowledged that the zoning code is NOT meeting the needs of parking in these growing business districts and we explained that we are working to introduce a zoning overlay for our district that would change these standards so that we don’t continue to welcome high occupancy with no planned parking to accommodate them. The majority of the residents signed in support.
Update:  Industry Public House’s expansion was approved.  They will be working with the community through the construction phase.

4901 Butler Street – Roundabout Brewery

The business owners who will be leasing this space from Wylie Holdings have applied for a special exception from the Zoning Board to open a small brewery at 4901 Butler Street.  They had a hearing on March 7, 2013.  There were no objectors at the hearing.
Steve Sloan, the owner, has offered to meet with any individuals who may have concerns or questions.  They are planning , if all goes according to process, to be open by summer.  They would have a small tasting room and would hold growler hours between 4 pm – 8 pm.  They plan to be open during the day on Saturday.  They would have deliveries, but no large trucks, and would load off of a flat bed off of the side of the building on 49th.  For their growler hours, they will have parking in the lot a few doors down on Butler towards 48th Street  (the gravel lot where the Billboard is).
UPDATE:  The Brewery will be open Today! July 12th, to begin growler sales.

The Abbey – 4635 Butler Street

1.26.2015

The Abbey Group, LLC applied for zoning approvals and a liquor license last year to operate The Abbey – a coffee bar and restaurant/ lounge.  Construction has started on the outdoor patio for the business on Home Street.  The Abbey’s zoning requests were approved with specific conditions to mitigate the impact on adjacent residents and businesses, including limited hours of operation for the patio, specific screening for the patio to control sound, no amplified music on the patio, and limited live entertainment, as well as other items.  Those items and conditions were created in response to a meeting held regarding the business on October 22, 2012.  They plan to open in June 2015.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

5.9.2013

On April 9th, The Abbey Group, LLC presented their plans before zoning.  Residents attend to testify to concerns around parking and noise.  The Abbey is asking for the following variances and special exceptions:

  • Special Exception: 911.04.A.57 use of restaurant (general) is a Special Exception in LNC zoning district –  Any restaurant larger than 2400 sq. ft. must be approved with a special exception in a local neighborhood commercial district.
  •  Special Exception: 914.07.G.2(a) off-site parking is a Special  Exception –  The lot that the owners have is across Home Street, and they will have 14 spaces in this lot.  A lot that is not directly on-site must be approved with a special exception.
  • Variance: 914.09.A.1 no surface parking on property zoned LNC shall be located within 10ft of the  street right-of-way; off-site parking  spaces fall within 10ft setback along Home Street  – Right now the lot is over the required setback, and they are asking that it be approved as it is, but with appropriate screening  (greening, etc).
  • Variance: 922.04.E.3(e)(i) no corner lot shall be used as off- street parking area  – A corner property in a local neighborhood commercial district must be approved with a variance, this lot is already a surface parking lot.
  • Variance: 918.03.B.3 screen shall be designed and installed so that the object being screened is not  more than 20% visible when viewed through the screen –  The owners will screen the parking with evergreens and other greenery to help create a better atmosphere

The Abbey, LLC have worked with Lawrenceville United on those concerns and several conditions have been finalized.  A summary of the notes from the March 19th community meeting, as well as the compromises are listed below:
Meeting Summary and Outlined Conditions/ Operational Standards:
Overall, the community in attendance at the meeting seemed to support the reuse of the building and its use as a restaurant/ coffee bar. The owners described this as a neighborhood-serving establishment where one could grab coffee and a light breakfast during the morning, but could also grab a bite to eat or a drink in the evening.   There were specific concerns relative to the impact on existing residents from parking, noise from the outside patio, over-occupancy, operating as a destination bar and not coffee bar/ restaurant, and other issues.  The owners did answer questions specifically around some of the concerns that helped to clarify outstanding issues and ease some of the overall concern.

  • Parking:  The owners will be providing 14 parking spaces in the lot at Home/ Butler, 4 on-site spaces, 5 spaces within the garages at the rear, and 6 bike parking spaces. The owners will also list on their website where patrons are able to park (in the lot and on Butler Street – avoiding residential streets), and will provide signage within the establishment letting folks know that parking is in the lot and on Butler Street .  The parking lot will be screened.
  • Noise:  Many residents were concerned with the potential noise that could come from the outdoor patio.  The owners have agreed that there will be no outdoor entertainment, the patio will be closer to Butler, and it will be screened with a rod iron fence with concrete columns and greenery (ivy) that can help to serve as a sound barrier and will keep this separate from the residential street.  The patio will have dining table seating and no wet bars outdoors and can be utilized throughout the day.
  • Smoke Free:  The owners have agreed to have a smoke-free indoor and outdoor establishment, and have agreed to keep the exterior premises clean on a daily basis.
  • Garbage:  No garbage will be taken out between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am to prevent loud noise that could wake up neighbors.
  • Fan: The exhaust fan will be built to exit the roof – and will not blow or face towards any residential property.
  • Responsible Alcohol Management: The owners will ensure that all servers are RAMP certified.
  • Occupancy:  The owners will enforce their occupancy.
  • Take Out Beer:  There will be no take out beer, or drinks priced below $3.
  • Live Music and Entertainment:  No music or amplified sound outdoors, no DJ’s, no planned Dance Floor.
  • Kitchen: There will be a full kitchen with a full kitchen staff.

UPDATE: The Zoning Board approved their application with the following conditions:

  • The Applicant will promote the parking spaces available to its customers by posted notice on its business website, and the business door.
  • The Applicant will screen the parking lot.
  • The Applicant will screen the outdoor patio with soundproofing measures.
  • The Applicant will have no amplified music or entertainment on the outdoor patio.
  • The Applicant will have no designated dance floor within the restaurant.
  • The Applicant will not take recyclable trash and glass out to the dumpsters between 11:00pm and 7:00am.
  • Site Plan Review by the Zoning Administrator shall be required, including required screening in accord with the Board’s findings.

Responsible Alcohol Management Program Training April 15th REGISTER TODAY!

Lawrenceville Corporation and Lawrenceville United are providing local Responsible Alcohol Management Program training for liquor serving establishments as part of our continued responsible hospitality work.

Most Lawrenceville businesses are already RAMP certified but this is an opportunity to send new employees or send long time employees for a refresher.  BYOB businesses are not required to have RAMP certification but it is best practice to undertake this training whenever alcohol is involved.

Server/seller training will be held on Monday, April 15th from 12pm- 3pm at the Lawrenceville Corporation conference room, 100 43rd Street, Suite 207.

To attend this training you must RSVP with a number of attendees to maya@lawrencevillecorp.com.  The cost will be approximately $15/attendee (it is $25 to do the training online), however the more people we have the lower the cost.  Once you RSVP you will receive final payment details.

Owner/Manager training opportunity: If there is enough interest, we will also hold an owner/manager training.  A representative from the PLCB will hold the free training and help you fill out documents to receive your final RAMP certification for your business.  If you are interested in the owner/manager training please contact maya@lawrencevillecorp.com.

More information on RAMP certification is available at http://www.lcb.state.pa.us/PLCB/Education/RAMP/RAMPCertification/index.htm.