Sewickley mixed-used condo, restaurant development planned

Monday, April 15, 2019 | 6:00 AM

Plans for a mixed-use development at the corner of Beaver and Walnut streets in the borough are moving forward.

Forastero LLC has hired Sewickley-based architectural firm Studio St. Germain to redesign the building at 400-402 Beaver St., which currently houses the Esthetics of Sewickley spa and hair salon. After redesign, the building will feature two residential condominiums in addition to a ground-floor restaurant space, said Nathan St. Germain, who owns Studio St. Germain.

“There’s an existing basement which we’re going to take over as a restaurant use as well. Then on the second level, we are going to be adding a condo unit, and we’re also adding half a story to make it a full three-story building, and that third level is also going to be a condo unit,” St. Germain said at an April 9 public hearing. He shared diagrams of the planned development with Sewickley council, whose members approved the conditional mixed use of the property.

The Village Melt restaurant previously occupied the first floor of the building but is now closed. A representative of Esthetics confirmed that the salon is relocating to a new location within Sewickley and will leave the current building by the end of April.

St. Germain, who sits on Sewickley’s planning commission, said mixed-use properties are “pretty common” within the Village Overlay zoning district, and confirmed that the building would measure 36-feet high after redesign, four feet shorter than the borough’s height limit for structures in the district. He also provided details about plans for the building’s interior.

The basement will be used as a prep kitchen for the ground-floor restaurant, which will be a “chef-driven, fast-casual concept,” said St. Germain, who would not disclose the name of the future tenant.

The second and third-floor condominiums will be about 1,600 and 1,700 square feet per unit, respectively.

The measurements do not include plans for exterior balconies on both units, as well as a roof deck accessible from the third floor. An elevator, also accessible to residents, will run from the ground floor to the third-floor unit.

As for the exterior, “we’ve got a lot of glass throughout the Village, so we’re kind of maintaining that at the ground level,” St. Germain said. The brick walls of the current structure will be revitalized to give the building a newer feel, he added.

The brick exterior fits in with other buildings in the area, council President Jeff Neff said.

“The 417 Thorn Street building is consistent with the side of your building,” Neff said. “It’s similar with the brick design you have on it, and then with the Crazy Mocha building, that sort of fits in with this building as well, so I think you did grab what’s going on in that area.”

The Sewickley planning commission previously approved mixed use of the property. At the public hearing, no residents spoke about St. Germain’s proposal, which council approved with just one member, Larry Rice, voting in opposition. Rice declined to comment on his vote.

The project is in the design and development stage, and Studio St. Germain has engaged Massaro Construction for pre-construction services. If all goes according to plan, construction will take nine to 12 months.

“With what Massaro has estimated, we’re probably looking at mid-summer, early fall to start construction,” St. Germain said.