Pittsburgh continues revitalization with several redevelopment initiatives

Former Fifth Avenue High School

Former Fifth Avenue High School

Sources: Fifth Avenue Lofts, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Fourth River Development, New York Times, Architectural Record

It is a very exciting time to live, work and play in the Pittsburgh region.  With redevelopment projects slated for future construction, and sustainable improvements and investments in infrastructure, Pittsburgh is gaining notable recognition as a city with think forward strategies for economic revitalization.

Developers in Pittsburgh, and across the country are building momentum in construction, by converting empty hotels, schools and multifamily properties into improved office and residential spaces.  As demand increases for tenants in technology and energy related sectors, developers nationwide are eager to fulfill their space requirements, and commercial real estate experts are  improving the overall appeal of these properties by adding tenants that offer recreational, residential and even entertainment amenities.

“Our firm has been involved in many projects where a former school or church has been successfully retrofitted into an alternative use,” said Gregg Broujos, Managing Director & Founding Principal at Colliers International | Pittsburgh.  “Most popular has been turning former schools into apartments, like the former Fifth Avenue High School project and a former elementary school in Emsworth, both of which we were involved with as listing brokers.”

Locally, there are several projects following suit to this trend, which include:

  • Redevelopment of former Reizenstein School in Shadyside/Larimer
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that developer Walnut Capital has begun demolition of the former Reizenstein School to clear the way for a $120 million plus mixed-use development known as Bakery Square 2.0. The Bakery Square 2.0 development on the Larimer and Shadyside border will feature 400,000 square feet of office space on Penn Avenue across from Bakery Square at the site of the former Nabisco plant, and construction of apartments and townhouses, up to 450 units in all.
  • RIDC has High Interest in Hazelwood
    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Regional Industrial Development Corp. has plans for a proposed $900 million development at the former on the 178-acre LTV coke works site in Hazelwood.  The proposed development on the bank of the Monongahela River would feature more than 2 million square feet of office and research and development space, and as many as 1,200 units of housing – either townhouses, condos or apartments. Development plans also include a “signature” riverfront boulevard and more than 26 acres of open space, including parks and trails.
  • Revitalization of Empty Schools and Churches In the Works
    Fourth River Development is working on a plan to evaluate the marketability of 20 closed public schools in the city, including Historic Redevelopment of the Former Schenley High School Site in North Oakland.Plans for revitalization of the former Holy Family Roman Catholic Church, school and parish house on 44th Street have been approved.  The site will be converted into a 57-unit apartment complex with 88 on-site parking spaces.
  • Highmark Stadium, the new home of the U.S.L. Pittsburgh Riverhounds
    New York Times reports the Riverhounds are set to open Highmark Stadium at scenic Station Square, along the banks of the Monongahela.   Where the Chevrolet Ampitheatre once stood, the Highmark Stadium will seat 3,102 fans on opening day of the 2013 United Soccer Leagues Pro season.
  • The former Steel Town embraces its rivers and green design
    Architectural Record reports a master plan for NBBJ’s Headwaters Lagoon, along the Ohio River, which envisions the use of a riverfront parcel between the Carnegie Science Center and the Rivers Casino for a hotel and public space adjoining Three Rivers Park and a completed multimodal transit station. The design relies on existing stormwater holding tanks and has naturally filtered fountains cascading into the river, creating what Riverlife’s Schroeder calls “a national model” for watershed management. Local foundations including the Heinz Endowments and the Buhl Foundation have made $1 million in grants for project planning and design.On the Monongahela River, Pittsburgh’s foundations and sustainable-design advocates are collaborating on a 180-acre capstone to riverfront redevelopment. Four local foundations, including Heinz, put up $10 million to adapt the former Jones & Laughlin steel mill in Hazelwood, about 3.5 miles east of downtown. A sustainable master plan developed by Rothschild Doyno Collaborative focuses on office space for high-tech research and development, plus industrial and residential use. Foundations have committed another $10 million for infrastructure improvements. The project will incorporate industrial remnants, such as a railyard roundhouse and a 1,300-foot-long steel mill, and will extend an existing riverfront trail.

Posted on February 13, 2013, in Investment, New Construction and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pittsburgh continues revitalization with several redevelopment initiatives.

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