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May. 15, 2013

Sampson Morris to Redevelop Wholey’s Building into Apartments

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Sampson Morris Group is planning to redevelop the seven-story New Federal Cold Storage facility in the Strip District into 144 one- and two-bedroom loft apartments. Also known as the Wholey’s building, the windowless property is located at 1501 Penn Avenue.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the Monroeville-based developer purchased the 330,000-square-foot structure in 2008. Initial plans called for the conversion of the building into condominiums. Later, Sampson considered developing a multi-tenant industrial facility and then in March 2012, the company marketed the property as an office project. However, the strength of the apartment market in the Strip District has convinced Sampson to change strategy once again.

The building’s first two floors will be used as parking, Sampson Morris Group CEO Michael Morris told the newspaper. The size of the apartments will average 1,100 square feet, while rent is expected to be around $1.80 per square foot. The developer intends to submit the project to the city planning department in the next few weeks and complete construction by the end of 2014.

In regional news, two multifamily properties in Ross Township have been listed for sale. The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Philadelphia-based PRG Management Inc. is selling the 100-unit Governor’s Ridge Apartments at 112 Hilands Place, as well as The Cascades, a 146-unit community near Interstate 279.

According to Cindy Kamin, a senior vice president who works in multifamily and investment sales for CBRE, the assets are generating quite an interest from various investors. “There’s just not that much on the market right now and people want to buy,” she told the newspaper.

The Pittsburgh office of HFF Inc. is marketing the properties, which can be purchased together or individually. Built in the 1970s, the complexes are located less than two miles from one another and could be jointly managed.

PRG acquired Governor’s Ridge in 1988 and The Cascades in 1998. Both properties are almost completely occupied, with rents ranging from 85 cents to $1 per square foot.

Photo credits: www.loopnet.com