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Feb. 20, 2013

New East Side Transit-Oriented Development Moves Forward

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

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

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