Above: Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, Manchester Citizens Corporation board member Linda Nelson and other community leaders cut the ribbon on the model house for Columbus Square.
In 2006, Mark Schneider, a developer at Fourth River Development, and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl met to discuss a street on the far end of Manchester called Columbus Avenue, where an empty industrial building stood.
Five years later, Manchester celebrated the near completion of the first phase of the construction of Columbus Square, a new housing development at the former industrial site on Columbus Avenue.
With involvement from the City, state, Manchester Citizens Corporation and various other community groups, Schneider, Ravenstahl and other community representatives, cut the ribbon on the front porch of the site’s first-finished model home today.
“It kind of takes a village to build a village,” said Schneider, who thanked the mayor, City Councilman Daniel Lavelle, the developers and designers, who were all in attendance. Also present were representatives from PNC, the Northside Community Development Fund and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, all of whom helped fund the project.
When finished, Columbus Square will consist of 31 single-family residences, each featuring a two-car garage, front porch, rear deck and private yard.
“These homes represent all the wonderful things that can happen when we join together to create an exceptional community,” said Linda Nelson, of Manchester Citizens Corporation.
For Nelson and Manchester Citizens Corporation, makingthe former industrial site into a residential area was a long-time goal for the neighborhood.
“We’ve been talking a lot about this third renaissance,” said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. “My goal is to make sure that renaissance isn’t just happening downtown… It’s happening all over the city, and that’s what I’m most excited about.”
The model home, which attendees later toured, is a 2,100 square-foot, four-bedroom house with three and a half bathrooms and a study. The model home’s base price is $255,000, and the other four homes included in the first construction phase begin at $179,000.
The owners of these new homes will benefit from a 10-year tax abatement from the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County that will reduce their property tax obligation. The homes also include cost-saving green energy components.
The model home will be open to the public Saturday October 22 and Sunday October 23 from 1-4 p.m.