Plans for five-star hotel on Grandview Ave. in Mt. Washington change

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PITTSBURGH - For years, the old Edge Restaurant stood vacant on top of Mount Washington, and recently there was talk of turning that property into a five-star hotel with grand ballrooms and a spectacular view of the city.

However, Channel 11’s Gordon Loesch has uncovered a change in the plans.

Five years after the proposal for a $100 million hotel and condominium complex, the land still sits empty.

“I’m totally shocked and disappointed,” Mt. Washington resident Diane Delmer said.

Delmer told Loesch that she and some of her neighbors are more upset that instead of the 24-story high-rise, a developer now wants to build four seven-story buildings for 300 apartments and a restaurant.

“To me, it’s a significant change. Whether it’s a significant change for the better remains to be seen,” Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith said.

Developer Beau Beemsterboer told Loesch that the economic collapse in 2009 change the way banks lend money, and years later he still can’t get financing for the original project.

But Beemsterboer said the new proposal is “not any less grandiose. It’s just as spectacular, if not more, than the old design.”

“Bait and switch at its finest,” neighbor Sandra Fundy said. “Instead of them adding to our community, they’re taking away.”

Some Mt. Washington residents said they’re worried the new apartment residents will put a heavy burden on the neighborhood and traffic.

“There is definitely a change of use from tourists to residents, which may be beneficial and it may not be. We’ll see in the long term, but the size is definitely different,” said Jason Kambitsis, of the Mt. Washington Comm. Development Corp.

The developer will have to go before the planning commission in October, and if approved, construction could begin in early spring.