Forward Square project presses on; zoning approval pending

Forward Square project presses on; zoning approval pending

Hoping to take the next big step in the Forward Square project, R.E. Crawford Construction is hoping for an approval of its zoning requests on the property.
Tom Chunchick, executive vice president for R.E. Crawford, said the hearings were held Aug. 5 and that the decision should come sometime this week.
“A lot of the decisions have to be done with the zoning,” Chunchick said. “Once that is approved we know what we can build there. That’s the point when we can start making some harder decisions.”
While the company waits on the zoning, other projects regarding one of Squirrel Hill’s biggest construction projects in history have been going on without any problems.
“We’re in the middle of doing our traffic and parking study,” Chunchick said. “That has to be approved by the city’s traffic and public works department. They approved our scope of our study. Now that study is taking place.”
Since traffic and parking were two main concerns voiced by the public, they are being very carefully addressed, Chunchick said.
As for what businesses will be going inside Forward Square, meetings are under way with potential retailers.
“We are meeting with various hotel operators, but nothing has been decided yet,” Chunchick said. “We’re also meeting with various retail people but again nothing has been decided.”
One thing that is becoming clearer is when demolition will begin on the current buildings occupying the space needed for Forward Square. While nothing is final, Chunchick said they are shooting for demolition to begin in May or June.
“No set date for demolition,” he said. “We would be purchasing the final property in April. If everything goes as we hope it to be would be 30-60 days after that.”
Another project Chunchick is working on is the Tango Café. He continues to meet with the proprietors of the café in hopes of finding them a new location.
“We are meeting,” he said. “We meet on a weekly basis and are just trying to define where they could end up at.”

(Mike Zoller can be reached at

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