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BUILDING HIS BASE—Hill District native and Power 59 Construction owner Scott Tunstalle talks about expanding his business. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

Scott Tunstalle is trying to grow. His Power 59 Construction company just rebuilt a daycare on the North Side and has another job starting in Lawrenceville, but the project he’s on now, restoring a three-story building across from the former Crawford Grill at 2144 Wylie Avenue, is close to his heart—because it’s in the Hill District, where he grew up.

“I was hired through the (Hill District Community Development Corporation),” he told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “They’ve been very active in buying properties and hiring Black contractors to restore them. This one has been empty as long as I can remember. It feels good to be bringing it back.”

And it feels good for the people Tunstalle hires in addition to his regular crew.

“I subbed out a lot of stuff to other Black contractors—M & T Electrical, and Ron Freeman for the plumbing, and I hired local labor,” he said. “I always try to get guys from each community I work in, even if it’s only temporary.”

He’ll do that again when he hires flooring and painting subcontractors, but right now it’s just him, drywaller “Mr. Mike” Council, drywall finisher Stevie Garcia, and laborer Joseph Saunders, who has known Tunstalle since he was a boy.

“I was his coach when he was at Prospect School in Mt. Washington,” said Saunders. “So that’s kind of neat.”

When finished, the building will have two large apartments on the upper floors, one of which is targeted as an affordable housing unit, and a proposed restaurant on the first floor. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and will have outdoor patio seating.

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