Over thirty people turned out on a frigid evening for the second public meeting about the fire site development. After a brief introduction, the attendees were divided into three sections, cycling between three spaces for smaller discussion groups.
One discussion was about site design, where attendees learned about the physical layout of the fire site and what could be built there. Architects Pfaffmann + Associates provided a scale model of the site and foam shapes representing possible unit sizes. Residents could see what different configurations might look like on the site.
In the Users and Uses discussion, the subject was who might be the potential residents, and what kinds of commercial development might be possible. Residents could also talk about what kinds of features or amenities they’d like to see as part of the development.
In the Economics discussion, residents learned about the underlying economics of developing the site — the financial realities that would have a bearing on what could be built.
Some people wished that a little grocery store or laundry would open at the site. As they stated at the first public meeting, the developer and architect told attendees that if prospective business owners are interested in the site, this is the time to come forward and make a commitment.
Some people wanted rental units or live/work spaces; others wanted to see just three single family homes on the site. Others wanted some public green space. The architects noted the opinions and feedback.
After the attendees had gone through all three discussions, they reassembled for a final group discussion. Now, the architects will take the input they received at this meeting and create drawings of various design possibilities for the site. At the next public meeting, which will take place sometime in March, they will present the drawings and seek another round of community feedback.
For another viewpoint on the meeting, read Diana Nelson-Jones’ article in the Post-Gazette.