Affordable Housing at Gateway to Squirrel Hill

$16 Million Project at Site of Former Poli's Restaurant

Joe DeStio
April 11, 2019 - 2:35 pm
Affordable housing has gone up at a location that once housed one of the swankiest restaurants in the city.

Joe DeStio

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Affordable housing has gone up at a location that once housed one of the swankiest restaurants in the city. Action Housing, Inc. and Jewish Residential Services cut the ribbon today on the $16 million Krause Commons at the corner of Murray and Forward Avenues in Squirrel Hill. It’s a block often called, “The Gateway to Squirrel Hill.”

The intersection was also once home to Poli’s Restaurant which closed in 2005 and was demolished after a fire next door several years later.

“Affordable housing, when you think about it, in a neighborhood like Squirrel Hill is one of the highest priced neighborhoods in the region, “ said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “It shows that affordable housing can be everywhere. It should be everywhere.”

The six-story building is glass on the first two floors capped by a four story rust-colored modernistic façade. Its modern design will house 33 units of affordable housing. Seventeen of the 33 units are designed for individuals with intellectual and/or mental health disabilities. The first two floors have office space for Jewish Residential Services, an expanded Sally and Howard Levin Clubhouse and a licensed psychiatric and social rehabilitation program.

Action Housing, Inc. helped to develop the property. Executive Director Larry Swanson told a room full of supporters, “ it’s important to build affordable housing in all our communities. This project, because of its physical location, is kind of a symbol of that.”

A two story parking garage is going up across the street and should be open by the end of the month.

The Poli’s Restaurant sign is still posted across the street. The famed lobster claw door handles that once adorned Poli’s have been put back into use at Krause Commons.

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