Landmark Developments To Look Forward To in Downtown Pittsburgh27 Mar 2013, 5:53 pm
Pittsburgh’s growing downtown will soon welcome a new wave of development. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 60 projects are currently planned for the Golden Triangle region, totaling about $2.2 billion in investment.
Developed by Millcraft Investments, the Gardens at Market Square is among the most notable mixed-use towers expected to break ground in the heart of downtown this year. Lucas Piatt, the company’s president and chief operating officer, has discussed the $95 million hotel, office and retail project during the recent annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
The 18-story high-rise will be developed on Forbes Avenue, between Market Square and Wood Street, and will include approximately 125,000 square feet of office space, a 197-room Hilton Garden Inn, 20,000 square feet of retail space and a 335-car parking garage. Construction is expected to start in June, with Turner Construction Co. as construction manager and anchor tenant. Popular restaurant Burgatory and Jackson’s Social Bar and Restaurant are also among the building’s tenants. The completion date for the entire development has been set for 2015.
During the meeting, Millcraft Invetments discussed another project on its drawing board, which includes the redevelopment of the former Saks Fifth Avenue store. The developer has partnered with McKnight Realty Partners to build a 130-unit apartment building at the site. The complex would feature a rooftop swimming pool, a spa, a yoga room or studio, a 450-space parking garage, and 25,000 square feet of street-level retail.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has outlined several other projects that are slated to continue progress in the Golden Triangle. These include the $42 million upgrade of the Point State Park, PNC’s conversion of the former Lord & Taylor department store on Smithfield Street into a call center, a new three-story office building on the North Shore to be developed by Continental Real Estate, as well as the redevelopment of the 28-acre Civic Arena into housing, office, retail and entertainment space.
Photo credits: http://www.millcraftinv.com/
New York REIT Acquires Courtyard By Marriott Property in Pittsburgh25 Mar 2013, 2:10 pm
Carey Watermark Investors Incorporated of New York has acquired a 132-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Pittsburgh’s Shadyside neighborhood.
The company’s total investment in the Courtyard Pittsburgh Shadyside property is around $34.6 million. This amount includes a purchase price of $29.9 million as well as $4.8 million in planned capital improvements and acquisition-related costs.
Open since 2003, the hotel offers approximately 1,600 square feet of meeting space, a Starbucks Coffee House, a fitness center, a business center and an indoor pool/whirlpool. It also provides easy access to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
The upgrades, which are slated for completion early next year, will include the lobby, guest rooms and public areas. Concord Hospitality of Raleigh will continue to manage the property, CWI announced.
“We view Shadyside as Pittsburgh’s most upscale market and see its location as one of the best within the market. The Courtyard Shadyside is already a market leader in terms of average rate and RevPAR and, as part of the Marriott family of brands, benefits from a strong loyalty program and significant national distribution,” said Michael Medzigian, CEO of CWI.
In other news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pittsburgh City Council has approved the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s request to pursue a $90 million tax increment financing plan for the proposed $900 million redevelopment of the former LTV Steel site along the Monongahela River in Hazelwood.
The financing plan will now go before the Allegheny County Council and the Pittsburgh Public Schools board. If approved, it would become the largest TIF deal in the city’s history.
The redevelopment of Pittsburgh‘s last major brownfield would bring about 2.1 million square feet of high-tech research and office space, as well as approximately 1,200 residential units on 178 acres of land owned by a consortium of four local foundations called Almono LP.
Photo credits: Carey Watermark Investors
Pittsburgh Public Market Moving to Improved Facility on Penn Avenue15 Mar 2013, 5:59 pm
This summer, the Pittsburgh Public Market will relocate from 12,000 square feet in the Pennsylvania Fruit Auction & Sales Terminal Building, on Smallman Street, to a much larger space, also in the Strip District.
The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Neighbors in the Strip, the community organization that operates the public market, has closed on the lease of a 27,000-square-foot brick building at 2401 Penn Avenue. At its new location, the market will be able to add amenities such as a commercial kitchen, air conditioning, heating and restrooms.
“The Pittsburgh Public Market’s move further up Penn Avenue will make the corridor more walkable and attractive to pedestrians and shoppers, and will further expand the business district,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in a press statement. “This is exactly what Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance is about—growing businesses, improving our neighborhoods and creating jobs.”
In January, the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority approved a $40,000 grant to support the market’s relocation and pre-development. Since it was founded in 2010, the Pittsburgh Public Market has served as an incubator for local entrepreneurs, supporting the establishment of more than 70 businesses. It has also led to the creation of more than 130 jobs.
In other local news, United Lender Services, Corp. (ULS) has moved to newly renovated Class A corporate office space in Pittsburgh. The company currently occupies 48,000 square feet at 1000 Commerce Drive, Park Place One in RIDC Parkway West.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, ULS is a national provider of mortgage solutions. The company has approximately 130 employees and plans to add another 160 people to accommodate its rapid growth. ULS’ parent company, San Antonio-based USAA Real Estate Company, purchased Park Place One and its sister property in February.
Photo credits: http://www.showcase.com
McCandless Crossing Development in Suburban Pittsburgh Adds New Tenants7 Mar 2013, 8:44 pm
AdVenture Development LLC is about to break ground on the fourth phase of the McCandless Crossing 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Pittsburgh’s suburban North Hills. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, three new restaurants and a new store have committed to the town center portion of the approximately $100 million master plan.
The latest additions to the project include what would become the region’s first Carrabba’s Italian Grill, as well as a Bonefish Grill location, a Longhorn Steakhouse and home furnishings retailer Home Goods.
The town center’s key anchor tenant is Cinemark Holdings Inc. of Texas. The company’s 12-screen, all-digital cineplex and a Doodle Bugs! child-care center are slated to open towards the end of the month.
Designed by O’Brien Architects of Dallas, McCandless Crossing’s entertainment portion will also bring a mix of small shops, a high-end grocery store and 50 townhouses. Construction on this phase of AdVenture’s mixed-use plan is expected to be complete in 2014.
The McCandless Crossing’s completed phases include a Lowes Home Improvement store, an LA Fitness, a CVS pharmacy, an IHOP restaurant and others. The region’s first Hilton Home2 Suites, currently under construction, is also part of the new development. Upon completion, the hotel will be the first extended stay property in the North Hills. AdVenture Development is also planning to build about 80,000 square feet of office space and a second hotel on the rest of the 130-acre property at Duncan Avenue in McCandless Township.
Photo credits: http://adventuredev.com
High-Profile I.M. Pei Apartment Community Slated for Renovation28 Feb 2013, 7:59 pm
One of Pittsburgh’s iconic residential towers, the 24-story Washington Plaza Apartments, is set to undergo a series of upgrades this year. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Faros Properties LLC has hired Perkins Eastman of New York to remodel the property’s lobby, business center, fitness center and swimming pool. Improvements are also planned for the kitchen and bathroom(s) of each unit.
Built in 1964 and designed by I.M. Pei and Partners, the 388-unit high-end apartment community is located at 1420 Centre Avenue, just west of the city’s downtown. The property includes studios, as well as one- and two-bedroom residences, with monthly rents ranging from $1,000 to more than $2,000. The complex offers approximately 400 parking spaces, 291 storage units, a 24/7 concierge service, controlled access and valet parking, as well as tennis courts, volleyball courts and barbecue picnic areas. There is also a retail portion on the ground floor, with a bar & grill, massage spa, dentist and hair salon.
Last November, Faros Properties purchased the majority interest in WP Partner, the corporate entity that owns the building, from the Detroit Police and Fire Pension Fund. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. In the spring, HFF Inc. had listed the Washington Plaza tower for $55 million, or more than $140,000 per unit. At the time of sale, the property’s occupancy rate was marketed as 98 percent.
“We’re focused on multifamily assets in urban and infill locations, in addition to commercial properties in cities that have high concentrations of intellectual capital, strong fundamentals and strong growth prospects,” Faros Properties managing partner Jeremy Leventhal told the newspaper.
At about 97 percent, Pittsburgh’s overall apartment occupancy rate is among the best in the country, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports.
Photo credits: www.galinsky.com/buildings
New East Side Transit-Oriented Development Moves Forward20 Feb 2013, 4:41 pm
The Mosites Co. is planning to build a new multi-modal transit center, with 54,000 square feet of retail, more than 360 residential units and 595 parking spaces in Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhood. The estimated price tag of the entire project is $75.2 million.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has approved the developer’s request to purchase a small portion of land in this area, clearing the way for the new development. The project will sit on six acres, stretching from Penn Avenue to the Eastside II retail complex on Penn Circle South.
Expected to serve nearly 1,000 daily bus trips, the new East Liberty Transit Center will replace the current East Liberty Busway Station and spur additional transit-oriented development. It will include a pedestrian link between the East Liberty commercial corridor and Shadyside, as well as new platforms and a new bicycle garage.
Last June, Pittsburgh’s URA was awarded a $15 million TIGER IV federal grant for the new transit center and is now seeking an additional $20 million in state and federal loans. The Port Authority of Allegheny County will also invest in the center’s infrastructure, which could amount to a total of $34 million. Mosites has also developed East Side phases I and II and expects to begin construction on the new project by mid-2014.
In other news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that PMC Property Group’s proposal to purchase and redevelop the historic Schenley High School property in Oakland has been endorsed by the Fourth River Development review panel in charge with overseeing the project’s marketing and bidding process.
The Philadelphia-based developer is proposing a $36.9 million reconversion of the property that would bring an estimated 178 luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments, along with parking and an on-site fitness center. The Pittsburgh Public Schools is expected to reach a final decision on Feb. 27.
PMC’s $5.2 million bid amount was the highest of four. In order to qualify, the bids were required to include an acquisition price of at least $4 million. Other selection criteria involved the commitment to the community, limitation of risk, and the ability to complete the project.
Photo credits: eltransitcentertod.com
Developer Completes Multifamily Conversion Project in Pittsburgh6 Feb 2013, 8:43 pm
Burns & Scalo has completed the redevelopment of the former Goodwill Building at 2600 E. Carson Street on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Dubbed “The Brix at 26”, the $34 million reconversion project is now ready for occupancy and offers 87 market rate apartments, 91 parking spaces and 10,397 square feet of retail space.
According to CoStar, 20 percent of the building’s residential units are already pre-leased. Most of the apartments are one-bedroom units, while only a few feature two bedrooms.
“This project could not have happened without the support of the Mayor and the URA’s active involvement,” said Jim Scalo, president and CEO, Burns & Scalo.
Construction began in January of 2012. The developer has been granted a $5.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant for core and shell work, as well as $6 million in historic tax credits. Amore Management Company is now handling operations and leasing.
In other news, Canonsburg-based Horizon Properties is building an 84-room Hampton Inn hotel off Interstate 79 in Bridgeville. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the new five-story property 300 Old Pond Road will be owned by Bridgeville Hotel Associates LP and managed by Horizon Hospitality.
Upon completion, the hotel will offer 1,250 square feet of meeting space, an indoor heated pool, and a fitness center, as well as complimentary hot breakfast and high-speed internet access. All rooms and suites will include a refrigerator and microwave, along with high definition TV. Construction is expected to be complete by December 2013.
Horizon Properties also owns the Cambria Suites in Washington, Pa. and Pittsburgh, a Hampton Inn & Suites in Blairsville, and a Hampton Inn in Waynesburg.
Photo credits: http://www.burns-scalo.com
Bakery Square 2.0 Development To Break Ground in March30 Jan 2013, 4:49 pm
Walnut Capital and its financial partner, the RCG Longview Fund, have closed on the acquisition of the vacant Reizenstein School in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty section. The purchase of the property allows the developers to move forward with their plans for the approximately $100 million Bakery Square 2.0 development.
Plans now call for three office buildings totaling 400,000 square feet, two 175-unit apartment buildings, 57 rental townhouses, an underground parking garage, and new streets, along with public and private green spaces. It’s estimated that the project’s full build-out period will span five years.
“Bakery Square 2.0 will be another world class development and is expected to create more than 1,200 new jobs and offer amazing office and housing opportunities that will attract new businesses and residents,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.
Employee Real Estate Construction Trust Funds has provided financing for the acquisition and demolition of the school. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the initial phase of Bakery Square 2.0 entails the development of the first apartment building. Construction is expected to begin in March.
Across the street, Walnut Capital Partners has also completed Bakery Square 1.0, the $130 million mixed-use redevelopment of the 1900-era Nabisco bakery in Larimer. The LEED platinum 250,000 square feet building is fully leased and includes Google, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh among its tenants.
“The success story of Bakery Square is one of a strong public-private partnership that has spurred millions of private investment in and around East Liberty, Larimer and Shadyside—from the opening of Target, to the historic renovation of the Highland Building, to the dozens of new restaurants and retail ventures,” Ravenstahl added.
Last year, Mayor Ravenstahl’s administration announced a $2 million federal grant that will help finance infrastructure costs for the second phase of Bakery Square.
Photo credits: bakery-square.com/photo-gallery
Pittsburgh Public Schools Unveil Project Bids for Schenley Redevelopment25 Jan 2013, 6:07 am
Officials at Pittsburgh Public Schools have revealed proposals from four bidders interested in purchasing and redeveloping the former Pittsburgh Schenley High School in North Oakland.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that in order to qualify, the bids were required to include an acquisition price of at least $4 million. This amount covers the remaining debt on the historic property.
The four bidders and the bid amounts are:
• PMC Property Group, $5.2 million
• AWSVPA/Edward Alexei, $4.1 million
• Ralph A. Falbo Inc., $4 million
• Kossman Development Co., agent for Provident Charter School, $4.6 million.
The candidates intend to convert the property into apartments and/or create a new school. The highest bid came from Philadelphia-based PMC Property Group. The developer is proposing 175 residential units, along with parking and an on-site fitness center. The development will incorporate the existing basketball gym, while the uses of the pool and auditorium will be determined at a later date. The estimated cost of the project is around $37 million.
Kossman Development Co. is planning to spend $36.8 million for the development of both a charter school for 336 dyslexic children in grades 2-8 and 115 housing units for college students.
The AWSVPA proposal includes the creation of a private secondary school called the Andy Warhol School of Visual and Performing Arts. The estimated cost of the development is approximately $25 million.
Local developer Ralph A. Falbo, an alumnus of Schenley, is planning 123 market rate apartments (99 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units), with an on-site fitness center. The estimated cost of the proposed project is $32 million.
The Request for Proposals process is being managed by Fourth River Development. A final vote from the School Board is expected on Feb. 27 during its regular public meeting.
Photo credits: www.frd.us.com/pghschools/schenley.htm
Preliminary TIF Plan Moves Forward for Pittsburgh’s Largest Riverfront Project16 Jan 2013, 7:05 pm
The Urban Redevelopment Authority has initiated a historic tax increment financing (TIF) process for the nearly $1 billion redevelopment of the former LTV Steel site along the Monongahela River in Hazelwood. If approved, the master plan would turn Pittsburgh‘s last major abandoned industrial site into a hub of activity comprised of approximately 2.1 million square feet of high-tech research and office space, as well as more than 1,200 residential units.
Located close to the downtown area, the 178-acre site has sat dormant for 15 years. Almono LP purchased the brownfield property in 2002 for $10 million. The consortium is made up of four local foundations: Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation and McCune Foundation. The Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania is currently managing the property on behalf of the partnership.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the project’s public infrastructure could benefit from as much as $90 million in the form of loans from the foundations. These funds would be repaid over 20 years through a TIF package that must be approved by the Pittsburgh City Council, the Allegheny County Council and the Pittsburgh Public Schools board.
“The development of this site will continue our efforts to connect our neighborhoods to Pittsburgh’s most beautiful natural assets—our riverfronts,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “There has been tremendous neighborhood investment on both sides of the Monongahela River over the last few years, and the much-anticipated transformation of the Hazelwood site will build on this momentum, creating thousands of new jobs and renewing a neighborhood in the process.”
Upon completion, the project is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs and increase annual real estate tax revenue from about $100,000 to $11 million.
Other developments along the Monongahela riverfront that were made possible by TIFs include the $65 million Bridgeside Point II office building, the $13 million South Shore Riverfront Park and the soon-to-be-completed $24.2 million HYATT hotel.
Photo credits: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative