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Sunday, April 02, 2023

Developers present designs for Mifflin housing

Developers discussed plans to replace the vacant Planned Parenthood building on W. Mifflin Street with a 3-story apartment building at a West Mifflin Neighborhood Association meeting Thursday.

The current development design would replace the Planned Parenthood building and the neighboring house at 424 W. Mifflin St.

Pat McCaughey of McCaughey Properties, the lead developer on the project, said they would spend close to or more than $5 million. His cost estimates include land acquisition and construction.

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McCaughey said he hopes to have the support of the West Mifflin neighborhood.

""Most buildings, when they finally get up, [residents] say ‘okay it wasn't that bad after all,'"" he said.

In initial meetings between W. Mifflin residents and McCaughey, residents suggested gabled roofs to best fit the surrounding homes. Developers and the Urban Design Commission deemed the triangular roofs inappropriate and ""hated them,"" according to West Mifflin Neighborhood Association Member Scott Kolar.

The latest design includes front porches and more doorways, which were suggestions from the Mifflin neighborhood residents, Kolar said.

Kolar said he was in support of the new structure, but not all of the current designs.

""Just about anything is better than that Planned Parenthood,"" he said.

The current design combines different window, scaffolding and porch styles—a variety met with some support at the neighborhood meeting.

""I think the variation in front of the building has interest and variability,"" association member Pat Heiser said.

The latest design intentionally gives the illusion that the building is three townhouses and the presumed tenants for the property would be students and young professionals, Kolar said.

""It's going in the right direction,"" Kolar said, but added, ""it's not there.""

The association plays an important role in the development process, in that they provide input and issue statements of approval or disapproval, but they have no formal vote in the final project, Kolar said.

In the upcoming weeks there will be a public meeting for the Mifflin neighborhood to address any questions and concerns residents may have.

The Urban Design Commission, the Plan Commission and the Common Council must approve the project.

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