City Might Go To Court To Protect Holy Family Church From Demolition

Jun 12, 2018

The development company expected to demolish a historic Lawrenceville church has canceled its plans, according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. The paper reported on Friday afternoon that E Properties and Development will remove the demolition notice from Holy Family Church on 43rd Street.

*This post was updated on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6:36 p.m.

 

The city of Pittsburgh and community organizations had criticized the company’s proposal, saying it wasn’t in the best interest of the neighborhood. The Business Times reports the E Properties will explore other options for the church, hopefully within the next 30 days.  

Original story:

The City of Pittsburgh might take legal action against a developer that plans to demolish the historic Holy Family Church in Lawrenceville, according to Mayor Bill Peduto.

In 2012, local developer E Properties and Developments planned to renovate the church into 57 apartment units, after meeting with preservation advocates and community members. Peduto said "good faith agreements" had been made with the developer to preserve the historic parts of the building.

In 2014, the project changed hands to 44th and Summit Development, a partner of E Properties, and a demolition posting went up on the building at the end of May.

"It's not something that we can support, it's certainly not community based development, and it will be fought through every means possible," Peduto said.

According to the Mayor, that means a possible court date.

"We have the ability to go to court, and allow a judge to hear out the argument," Peduto said. "Let them decide what kind of agreement it was."

Last week, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported the CEO of E Properties, Emeka Onwugbenu, said the decision to demolish the church came after realizing the cost to renovate would be far too expensive.

The developer did not respond to a request to comment.

*This post was updated to indicate the developer's cancellation of the demolition. 

Katie Blackley contributed to this report.