No sooner than 2011 for Pinery on Hill

       A $7 million wedding event center atop the Bijou Street hill, once foreseen for completion in May, is now not expected to open for two more years.
       “It's on hold due to the economy,” said project spokesperson Eric Allen of the proposed Pinery at the Hill, 775 W. Bijou St.
       The property owner is the Yellen Family Partnership LLLP (limited liability limited partnership), which has been operating a business called the Pinery Wedding and Event Center in Black Forest for the past two years, Allen is its director of operations.
       In a phone interview last week, Allen said he now does not anticipate a groundbreaking until next year, with an opening no sooner than 2011.
       Proposed last summer, the development plans had gone through a neighborhood review and been approved by City Land Use.
       “Everything was fine before the bottom dropped out of the economy,” Allen said, noting that for now the business' focus is making sure that the Black Forest Pinery stays successful; meanwhile, private investors will be sought for the Bijou site. “We're still passionate about the project,” Allen said. “That hasn't changed.”
       The Pinery at the Hill would be modeled on the same “all inclusive” premise as the Black Forest original, in which couples have their marriage and receptions under one roof. A redevelopment project would renovate the existing 8,500-square-foot building and add space (including a deck, offices, chapel and limo entryway) to bring the total structural area to just over 15,000 square feet.
       The 2 ˝-acre location is where several restaurants have come and gone since 1980, with nothing in operation there for five years or so. The building has been vandalized extensively, with all the copper stolen, according to Pinery submittal documents. It is currently fenced off.

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