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Jul. 24, 2014

Ambling University Development Plans Major Apartment Community in Pittsburgh

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

One of the largest new multifamily developments in Pittsburgh could soon rise between Fifth and Forbes avenues in Oakland.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Ambling University Development Group, LLC (AUDG) is planning the construction of a 389-unit apartment community at 3333 Forbes Ave., on the former Allegheny Health Department property.

The site is currently owned by MWK Forbes, LLC. The company’s previous plans for the land called for the construction of apartments, offices and a lodging facility. MWK Forbes now intends to sell the property for the apartment component and develop only the hotel, which entails an investment of about $20 million.

AUDG’s project, which will require two special exceptions due to the height and floor-area limits, could cost between $70 million and $100 million to develop. The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment is expected to review the proposal on July 31.

If approved, the new apartment complex, which will cater to young adults, could be complete in 2016.

Georgia Petropoulos, executive director of Oakland Business Improvement District, says the business membership of her organization welcomes the development.

“My business district is very supportive of that project. They’re waiting for it to be developed,” she told the newspaper. “It’s going to be a pretty big development on that part of Forbes Avenue that we haven’t seen in decades.”

Based in Valdosta, Ga., Ambling University Development Group specializes in student housing projects. The company’s experience within the past decade includes 63 campus developments with over 35,000 beds.

According to the 2014 midyear report released by Integra Realty Resources, Pittsburgh’s multifamily market is quite strong.

In recent years, apartment vacancy rates have declined in the region, while rents have continued to grow.

A substantial amount of new construction now aims to absorb the area’s pent-up demand. In the city, there are 800 apartments under construction, while another 3,800 units are in the planning stages. In the suburbs, more than 2,000 units are currently being built, while another 2,000 are in the planning stages.

Photo credits: Wikipedia Commons

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