PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The plans to expand an adult entertainment club in downtown Pittsburgh went before the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Board at a hearing Thursday morning.
Blush Club is a long-time downtown business and they are looking to expand into the thriving Cultural District, but they are running into opposition.
“All we’re looking to do is exercise our legal rights to expand the existing operation up to 25 percent,” said Jonathan Kamin, the attorney for Blush.
The well-known and long-established club’s expansion would mean renovation, and use of the building that the owners have presently acquired right next door.
“What we’re looking to do is to develop more of an entertainment complex where people can come for events, can have conferences, larger parties,” said Kamin.
However, the club has run into opposition, including from parents of kids who are students at the Pittsburgh School for Creative & Performing Arts (CAPA). The school is right down the road.
“I believe expansion is unnecessary in the Cultural District,” said Lenell Reid, who has a daughter attending CAPA. “I believe it does not promote culture. Academics and alcohol, I don’t think they mix.”
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is also against Blush’s expansion.
“Let’s face it, we’re trying to bring new people into downtown to live, work and play. This kind of club, we believe, will reduce the likelihood of that kind of thing happening,” said Kevin McMahon, the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
“This is not a little bit of an expansion; it’s a much, much larger footprint than they currently have,” he added. “It brings it out into a much broader sense and there’s a reason why these non-conforming uses are regulated by our city code.”
The non-conformity statute, as far as Blush is concerned though, doesn’t apply to them.
The statute in essence says certain establishments can’t place themselves in certain neighborhoods or expand, but Blush says they pre-date that code. What’s more, by increasing 25 percent, they say they are well within the non-conformity act.