Monday, June 10, 2024

Newest big plans for the Kbox site.

For almost as long as Kbox has been in operation as an Asian karaoke place in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood there have been plans to redevelop the site. Recently, the latest designs under review have called for replacement of its wood building with a two-story structure and a rehabilitation of the formerly residential structure behind it into apartment bulidings. Mike Wu, whose family owns a number of restaurants in the area and who is leading the redevelopment, said during a meeting this spring that the restaurant will play with three concepts, including an Asian restaurant and possibly a bakery. No further details were made available, though Wu reiterated that the space will not be occupied by chain restaurants, which would be a welcome development for the neighborhood.

A business formerly in Wu's portfolio is Pink Box Bakery, and the earliest plans for redevelopment 10 years ago involved a Pink Box that would be four times the size of the Squirrel Hill location. The first logos of Pink Box, which opened in Squirrel Hill in 2014, featured addresses for both Oakland and Squirrel Hill. The idea was to open the second location in late-2014 or 2015, but this never came to pass.

The next concept came in 2019, when Wu and Fisher ARCHitecture imagined a five-story structure replacing both buildings. More information about the design is available from Fisher ARCHitecture.

The project will be discussed at a Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on June 13. Those interested in learning more about the project, including a video walkthrough of the proposal and architectural designs for the space, can do so online via the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

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