BEVERLY STREETSCAPE GRANT By the time school starts this fall, the Beverly Road business district will be a whole lot nicer underfoot, thanks to a county grant and local matching funds.
Mt. Lebanon received an Allegheny County Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant for $175,000. The grants, which are overseen by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, are meant to improve infrastructure in order to boost economic development.
The municipality will kick in $75,000 to the project, which will remove damaged sidewalks and pavers along the length of the business district, replacing them with a clean sheet of concrete sidewalk, says Mt. Lebanon Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron. All businesses will remain open during the work.
The work will begin after school lets out for the summer, so it will not affect students walking to and from Lincoln school. Any funds that should remain after the sidewalk renovation will be used to purchase energy-saving LED lamps for the streetlights. Milliron also is contacting utility companies, to discuss the possibility of coordinating any planned utility work with the streetscape project.
The streetscape work took shape in part as the result of a design workshop held with Beverly Road business owners a few months ago to solicit their ideas about the sorts of improvements they wanted to see.
CROSSFIT EXPANDS At CrossFit Mt. Lebanon, supporting each other is part of the allure. In fact, “the last person who finishes [a set of exercises] is the person who gets the most applause,” says owner Kevin Beamon. Now, the closing of Miller Auto Parts, 439 Washington Road, will allow CrossFit, which has been in the adjacent building since 2013, to add 8,000 square feet to its studios this spring to bring even more clients to its programs. “We’re packed to the gills,” Beamon says.
The new concept, called Mecka Fitness, will feature cycling classes, yoga, personal training, a retail area and plenty of room to mingle before or after, to further connect the community of athletes.
That sense of community is what has set CrossFit Mt. Lebanon apart, Beamon says, noting the “box,” as CrossFit studios are called, has 300 regular members but has seen at least 5,000 participants over the years at such events as the free Saturday morning class, seminars and fund-raisers. While CrossFit has coaches, the participants support each other. Every participant has a story, Beamon says, and many have opened up to share personal experiences with the rest of the group. “It’s really taken off in the community,” he says. “People in there are forming relationships.”
While CrossFit operates mostly as a monthly membership, Mecka will function differently, with class passes available for the cycling classes. But even cycling will have a twist—the participants will work as teams. After Beamon and his wife, Mandy, visited another club, they realized that the CrossFit concept of teams would be fun and helpful. “We work harder when we are on a team,” he says, noting the class atmosphere will be social. Clip-in cycling shoes will be available for rent.
Another signature offering will be the Lebo Boot Camp, a popular program from this winter. The facility will include several showers and early morning classes, so people can hit it on the way to work.
While CrossFit has coaches, it currently does not have a staff. The new addition will include the hiring of more teachers and support staff.
The name Mecka Fitness is a play on Mecca being a place people seek to go, and also describes “a state of awesomeness,” Beamon says. It also loosely references mechanics, a nod to the auto parts history of the building. In keeping with the theme, the remodel will include some repurposed items from the auto parts store, such as shelving and woodwork.
“We started with 20 little mats in the corner,” Beamon says. “We’ve grown organically.”
FINE JEWELRY UPTOWN Now you don’t have to go all the way to Shadyside to take advantage of jewelry designer Caesar Azzam’s talent. Azzam, who lives on Ridgefield Avenue and owns Caesar’s Designs Fine Jewelry Creations on Walnut Street in Shadyside, is adding an office at 733 Washington Road, perhaps better known as the Bognar Building. Caesar’s specializes in redesign of old jewelry into modern, award-winning settings and styles. To make an appointment, call 800-621-2511 or 412-621-0345.
REFORMER TRAINING Simple Sol, 520 Washington Road, has long offered classes on the Pilates Reformer, a resistance machine that helps elongate and strengthen muscles as well as improve tone, elasticity and mobility. But now the fitness center has four machines and is offering group classes for up to four people. Reformer training at Simple Sol is a fitness style, meaning it is more challenging than regular Pilates with faster results in building muscles that are not bulky and leading to more improvement in other sports. Drop-in rate for the classes is $25 or $100 for five. Semi-private classes with one partner are $35 each and private sessions are $60. Details and information: www.mysimplesol.com or email email@example.com.
TOP NOTCH T-SHIRTS This year’s Mt. Lebanon Artists’ Market, presented by the Mt. Lebanon Partnership Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, in the Academy Avenue parking lot Uptown, is going to be huge, with dozens of artists attracting shoppers from all over the region. And now, your artwork can be front and center on the event’s T-shirts if you’re the winner of the design contest, under way now through May 15.
Everyone—professional and amateur artists—are eligible to enter. Market jurors will select the top three designs and the public will vote in June on the winner, who will get $250 and have his or her design on the T-shirts sold at the market.
Artwork size should be about 10 to 12 inches wide by 12 to 14 inches tall. Email entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line “T-shirt Contest” or send them to Create A Frame/Handworks Gallery, 615 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. Include name, phone number and address.
More details are available on the Market’s Facebook page, which you can “like” to get lots of info on the contest and the Market, or on the Partnership’s website.
THE CARS COME TO YOU Welcome to Washington Auto Mall, mtl’s newest online advertiser. The AutoMall, which carries top quality vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Scion and Hyundai, now offers the Vehicle-to-You shopping service, where a tech will bring the car you’re interested in to you at your convenience. Whether you’re at work, home or another off-site location (within reason—don’t be thinking Myrtle Beach now), you can see the vehicle in a familiar location and test-drive it there, as a product specialist reviews the features for you. Any member of the sales team can help you. Contact them at 724-222-2213 and get more info at www.washingtonautomall.net.
And if you’re interested in advertising online, contact Diane Cyphers at email@example.com or 412-343-3786.