Sewickley officials commend progress of construction site

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 | 6:00 AM

Sewickley officials can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the 429-435 Broad St. construction site, according to borough Mayor Brian Jeffe.

The owner of the company developing the site, Jonathan Moritz, said in a June 3 interview that he expects the exterior renovation of the Sewickley Executive Building to be complete within four weeks.

He said his company, Sewickley Acquisition Associates, plans to start finding potential tenants for the building after completing the exterior. Interior work, Moritz said, will depend on tenant needs.

“They’re just basically constructing the shell of the building, and then depending upon the needs of the tenant that they get or tenants they get, they will renovate the interior,” Sewickley Borough Manager Marla Marcinko said.

Based on an update she received in mid-May, Marcinko said the “shell” of the building includes a stone exterior, roofing, interior plumbing and electrical work, windows and an elevator. At the time, the company had set a Sept. 1 completion date for the shell.

Once complete, the building will contain retail space on the first floor and office space on the second and third floors, Jeffe said.

Sewickley Acquisition Associates purchased the land on which the Sewickley Executive Building sits, and an adjacent vacant lot in August 2016. The site was being considered for headquarters for Eddy Homes, among other potential uses, Moritz said. Moritz also serves as president of Eddy Homes, a home-building company based in Mars.

Jeffe said business owners have contacted him about the pace of construction at the site.

“My involvement came about when businesses surrounding that project started complaining. I have been pushing the project along ever since,” Jeffe said in an email.

Jeffe acknowledged the complaints in November, before council voted to deny a request from the developer to extend its lease on eight Broad Street parking spaces. The company was using the spaces as a construction staging area.

At the November council meeting, Jeffe said the developer had four months to work on the project and that it had not progressed at the originally anticipated pace. He indicated the borough needed the parking spaces for Light Up Night and the holiday shopping season.

“After a painstakingly slow start, they appear to be moving at a better pace now,” Jeffe said.

Moritz said the weather this winter played a part in the delay. He also noted that the company had agreed not to work during a period from November to January.

Marcinko, who started as borough manager earlier this year, said progress on the site over the past four to six weeks has been encouraging.

“The refurbished building will be a nice addition to the Village, when complete,” Jeffe added.