Pinery at the Hill: 1st booked event Sept. 28

       The Pinery at the Hill is about a month and a half from opening.

With its exterior design taking shape, the Pinery wedding, banquet and meeting center can be seen this week during construction on the Bijou Hill. The owners plan to open for business in late September.
Westside Pioneer photo

       “Everything is coming along,” said Eric Allen, a co-owner of the two-story, 21,000-square-foot facility atop the Near Westside's Bijou Hill that's been under construction since last fall. “We're planning to open at the end of September. Our first booked event is Sept. 28.”
       The venue will have chapel and banquet facilities for full-service weddings and receptions and also provide space for weekday business meetings.
       According to Allen, the construction process has gone well, although there have been various challenges, including issues raised by the city, vandalism and “some things we discovered” that added to the cost. In the end, he said the overall development expense will be around $13 million - up from the $10 million anticipated during the planning process last year.
       The business is owned by the same group that has operated a similar center in Black Forest since 2007. The investors are primarily local, ownership members have previously said. The Bijou Hill location was chosen in large part because of its views, including those of the mountains and downtown.
       During the planning period, the project got mixed reviews from the older neighborhood around it. People expressed relief at the pledges of work quality and neighborhood sensitivity as well as the end to years of vagrancy at the vacated site of a former restaurant building. However, concern was expressed about the new facility being over a third larger than the old restaurant and the Pinery owners having bought and then demolished a neighboring property with a century-old house to fill a parking need.
       Aware of the critics, Allen said that when the Pinery opens in September, Westsiders “will see we're not just developers with grandiose ideas. They will be proud, very proud.”

Westside Pioneer article