Featured Story

A Fresh Look

The Community Center has a new look!

A redesign of the interior has resulted in an inviting and comfortable place for residents to meet friends and relax. Summerset at Frick Park resident and interior designer Marie Stapinski had the winning proposal to redesign the space. Marie’s inspiration for the redesign came from Summerset at Frick Park itself. “I wanted some thing that was representative of the surrounding neighborhood.” To accomplish this, Marie wanted to bring in the natural elements of Frick Park. She also wanted it to be an “ode to the steel mill history,” so she so she incorporated some metal elements into the room, such as the forged iron look of the console table, the steel freeform wall art and a metal bowl. Neighbors provided lots of positive input on how the room could be better used and what they would like to see in the room’s redesign.

Soothing earth tones were used to reflect Frick Park. The rich wood tones of the custom Amish furniture and the custom pictures of Nine Mile Run further carry the nature theme. One of Marie’s favorite elements though, is the beautiful wall mural which captures the view of the river and the valley. “We went through a lot of photographs. I honestly wasn’t sure it existed, but we got lucky.” she recalls. “This picture has a really nice perspective of the river.” She explains that the mural serves to bring all the design elements together and blends both the natural elements and the nod to Pittsburgh’s industrial history.

Because so many people use the room for a variety of uses, Marie took care to design a space that is good looking, durable and feels like an extension of the homes at Summerset at Frick. A new carpet was also installed. It is very durable and is installed in squares so damaged areas can be replaced to keep it looking new and fresh.

The sitting room of the community center is cozy with large comfortable sofas and chairs that create a great space for conversation of watching a game or movie. Marie said it was challenging because this room has to be many things to many people. Kids can watch a show in here when they need to take a break from the sun. Book clubs can meet there. There’s an area where tables are set up so residents can do crafts, play a board game or cards. Marie wanted to “find a marriage” that creates a space usable for everyone. As she looks over the beautifully designed and multi-functional room, she nods and says “I think we’ve succeeded.”

Come see the new look of the Community Center. It is a great place for your next bridge game, book club meeting or movie night. If you’re interested in arranging a design consultation with Marie, please contact MSInteriorsLLC@gmail.com.


In The News

State of the Watershed

Summerset at Frick Park is a proud supporter of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association.

Nine Mile Run, which runs through Frick Park, is home to the most extensive urban stream restoration in the country completed by the US Army Corp of Engineers. Before restoration began, the stream was overly rapid and polluted, eroding stream banks and killing wildlife. After restoration, the stream has been reconfigured to slow the water flow, helping the regrowth of vital habitat for plants and animals.

Every two years, the Association releases a “State of the Watershed” Report, outlining positive changes in Nine Mile Run’s ecosystem, as measured by the presence of fish and other aquatic life and the absence of harmful bacteria such as e-coli. Although there is still more work to be done, the quality of the watershed is continuing to improve. You can read this year’s report on their website (link to pdf).

Summerset Living featured the photography of John Moyer, the “unofficial official photographer” and board member of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. You can read more about his work here.

Spotlight On

The Gateway at Summerset Construction Complete

The final phase of construction has been completed at The Gateway at Summerset and response has been fantastic, with only a handful of apartment residences remaining.

The upscale community is part of the Summerset at Frick Park master-planned community and features 131 spacious one- and two-bedroom luxury floor plan layouts. The new homes, which are ready for immediate occupancy, include open floor plans and gourmet kitchens with granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances and breakfast bars. Every home has a  washer and dryer, expansive bath with soaking tub, large walk-in closet and a private balcony or patio. The community is pet-friendly and also has free, on-site parking. Rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments range from $1,375 to $2,025 a month.

“The Gateway offers truly modern living in brand new apartments, with all of the charm and quaintness of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood,” said Mark H. Dambly, president, Pennrose Properties. “From its neo-traditional design to its upscale amenities and service offerings, it’s unlike any other apartment community in the area and a special place to call home.”

Residents of The Gateway can also enjoy all the amenities of the Summerset at Frick Park community, including a private, furnished clubhouse with 24-hour fitness center, heated outdoor pool with cabanas, BBQ area, half-basketball court and children’s play area.

For more on The Gateway, visit www.gatewayatsummerset.com.

City Living

Biking in the Park

Crisp fall air and changing leaves signal the perfect time for heading to the park for a bike ride.

Bike riding in Frick Park is a great way to have fun and get some exercise. Before you head out on the trails, make sure that your bike is is good working order. Check brakes, tires, seat, and chain and make sure your helmet fits securely. While riding in the trails in the park is a usually safer alternative to riding on the street, there are still some important points to keep in mind to stay safe on the trails. Frank Bruno, bike enthusiast and owner of Biketek, in Squirrel Hill, offers some pointers for biking in Frick Park. “Frick is very rough in spots so mountain bikes are a must, no hybrids.” However, he states that hybrids are a good choice for nearby Schenley Park. He also cautions that when riding with kids that “the off-road entrance on Beechwood is too steep for kids.”

In fact, there are many trails in Frick Park that are very steep and not for the beginner. The group, PTAG (Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group) has been working with the city and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to find a way to label the trails by degree of difficulty. Despite many trails being “advanced” in difficulty, there are still plenty of options for families and beginners who wish to ride in Frick Park. The group, PTAG (Pittsburgh Trails Advocacy Group) has been working with the city and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to work on a way to label the trails in Frick Park by degree of difficulty.

Instead of taking a risk on unknown trails, Bruno suggests sticking to the flatter multi-use gravel trails by the Frick Nature Center when riding with children. These multi-use trails are designed for a variety of uses, biking, walking and jogging. Pittsburgh Park Conservancy provides a map of Frick Park trails in the link below. Also, it is important to share the trail and be careful when passing people walking and their pets. It is courteous to announce that you’re approaching someone and to slow down when passing them. Bruno also suggests the Eliza Furnace Trail as a good trail to introduce to children to biking. It is a nice wide, flat trail.

Have fun taking to the trails, just remember to take time to get to know Frick Park trails and start off with the wider, flatter trails if you’re new to trail biking. It is also important to stay on the trails within Frick Park and not enter private or Urban Redevelopment Authority property. In addition to the issue of trespassing, the URA land is currently under construction for the next phase of Summerset at Frick. With the excavation and the use of heavy equipment, the area could be very hazardous to cyclists. If you’re interested in learning more about trail biking or about Frick Park, the links below have more information:

PPC (includes map of Frick Park)

Nine Mile Run Watershed Association




Spotlight On

Community Center Rentals

It’s not too early to plan your group’s holiday party.

Residents are allowed to rent the community center for their functions. There are no outside rentals or sponsorships permitted. Residents are allowed to rent the space for organizations that they are associated with. Senior Residential Property Manager, Ann Paul, can answer any questions about renting space in the Community Center. The Community Center has a large banquet space, a full kitchen and a sitting room with comfortable seating and a large television.


Neighbor Profiles

Meet Mark Haffner and His Family

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new neighbors.

Our new neighbors often note how friendly and welcoming the neighborhood is and enjoy the sense of community that is fostered at Summerset at Frick Park.

Mark and Shelly Haffner moved here in April with their daughter, Lauren. In just a few months, they have settled in nicely and really enjoy their new home and neighborhood. They lived in a smaller home in Squirrel Hill and decided to upsize to give their family a little more room. Mark’s parents were in the Sales Center one day and noticed that a lot that was previously reserved had become available. Mark remembers them calling and saying “If you’re serious about moving, you’d better do something now!” They told Mark about the lot and he and his family jumped on it. “Next thing I knew, my head was spinning and we were putting money down to build a home here,” Mark recalls.

While they enjoyed living in Squirrel Hill, Shelly had grown up in an area with newer homes and the ninety-year old home they lived in had its limitations and maintenance issues. The quiet streets here have also helped their daughter Lauren master bike riding. Because Lauren could practice so easily here, the family was able to take a biking vacation last summer. Mark says that they love the neighborhood and he “would recommend it to anybody.”

In addition to the great neighborhood, they really enjoy their new, energy-efficient home that is perfect for a busy, active family. Mark is especially active. He is a tennis coach, Pilates instructor, personal trainer, life coach and cancer survivor. “My clients range in age from 3-103,” he explains. Mark has also written a book called “Overcoming the Odds, The Mark Haffner Story.” His story has been featured on news programs and he is available to do motivational speaking. In addition to helping clients get fit, Mark’s work as a life coach helps clients beyond fitness. Mark wants to teach children to find a life-long sport they love that will help them incorporate fitness into their whole lives. He tells them, “you only have one body, if you don’t take care of it, you can’t get a new one.”

If you interested in having Mark coach you or develop a personalized fitness program for you, he can create a fitness program tailored to your interests, goals and abilities. Contact Mark about developing a personalized fitness program, tennis lessons or speaking engagements at onyourmarkforlife.com.