By Mary Shelly, Point Park News Service

A version of this story ran in The Northside Chronicle.

On West North Ave., the Allegheny Stables renovation is set to break ground next month, and complete one year later — bringing nearly three dozen new residential units to Allegheny West.

Allegheny Stables building on the 800 block of West North Ave. Photo by: Mary Shelly.

Initiated in 2016, the plans for the project include the renovation of the three-story building, new construction of a four-story structure in the adjacent vacant lot, and new construction of a fourth story addition extending onto the existing building.

“These Stables residences are the long-awaited ‘first shovel in the ground’ that will finally provide a catalyst for the residential makeover of the surrounding empty properties,” said John DeSantis, former president of the Allegheny West Civic Council in his last newsletter.

The Allegheny Stables building and vacant lot where construction will break ground this spring. Photo by: Mary Shelly

Andrew Reichert, president of Go Realty, the developer for the project, said the intent of the exterior design is to complement the existing structure. They’ll do this by using historically appropriate materials and honoring some of the original features.

“I believe [this renovation] will totally change the fabric of that community. It will hopefully spark new development in the immediately-adjacent area, and bring life to a building and vacant piece of land that has not been used for quite some time,” Reichert said.

Go Realty is also renovating a nine-unit historic building in Manchester, building three townhomes in Central Northside, and renovating a few single-family homes in the area, Reichert said.

Because Allegheny West is one of Pittsburgh’s 12 designated historic districts, any renovations or new construction plans — changing anything from the brickwork to the style of window — must be approved by Pittsburgh’s Historic Review Commision.

Ann Gilligan, president of the AWCC, said that the developers of the project have worked with the AWCC to ensure that the historic nature of the Stables building is preserved.

“This [renovation] will hugely transform this block,” Gilligan said.

Gilligan said some elderly neighbors who don’t want to leave the neighborhood, but also don’t have the need for a huge house anymore are anxious for the completion of this project.

“If they are nice spaces, I could totally see current neighbors moving into a building like that,” Gilligan said.