Apartment building proposed for site of devastating blaze in Greensburg

Jacob Tierney (Trib Live)
Original Article Here

A Greensburg lot where a house was destroyed by fire last year soon will house a $2 million apartment building, according to a Pittsburgh development firm.

“We think there's kind of a poetic story there. From the ashes rises something new. It's a story that sort of parallels Greensburg,” said Daniel Berkowitz, managing partner of Atlas Development in Pittsburgh.

Atlas will present its plans for 333 W. Otterman St. to Greensburg's Historical and Architectural Review Board on July 19.

If all goes according to plan, the building will be ready to open by late spring or early summer next year, Berkowitz said.

A two-story brick home that stood on the lot was destroyed by fire in July. Atlas Property Partners bought the property from the former homeowners for $29,500, according to Westmoreland County records.

Berkowitz isn't ready to show concept renderings of the apartment complex, but he said the building will have a modern style. Its 14 two-bedroom apartments will be designed for young professionals.

The apartments will have on-site parking.

Greensburg needs more housing, Berkowitz said. He estimates the city could use at least 100 more apartments. Bringing in more young workers could stimulate economic growth, he said.

“When the doctors and lawyers and other professionals who work in the area can live in the area, that's when the city really starts to capture the disposable income of those people. That's what makes more White Rabbits. That's what makes a busierPalace Theatre,” he said.

Atlas Development focuses on up-and-coming neighborhoods in and around Pittsburgh, Berkowitz said. It owns one eight-unit apartment building in Pittsburgh's Beechwood neighborhood and is working on three more projects there.

“We believe those areas are ready for a renaissance. We believe that if you build it, they will come,” he said.

Atlas also is in talks to buy the recently completed 12-unit apartment complex at 112 College Ave., owned by Greensburg Property Partners, he said. Berkowitz served as a consultant on that project.

Greensburg Property Partners co-owner Deanna Seruga works for Atlas.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646 or jtierney@tribweb.com.

Michael Sorg