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Major Multifamily Community Coming to Negley Avenue; King Penguin Opportunity to Acquire the Lawyers Building

17 Dec 2014, 3:42 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A new 140-unit apartment development called Mellon Orchard will soon rise on Negley Avenue in Pittsburgh.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Eric Jester, principal of New-burgh Real Estate, in partnership with Barry Lhormer and Bob Mistick, will be leading the project, which will cost between $20 million and $23 million.

The proposal went before the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority board which voted measures that enable the developer to pursue funding through the Pittsburgh Housing Finance Agency. About 22 percent of the project’s apartments will be affordable, while the rest of the units will be rented at market rates.

The development’s construction timetable has not been finalized. Plans call for two four-story elevator buildings that would replace a collection of about 89 deteriorating apartments at the site, which is owned by East Liberty Development Inc. A neighboring house will also be converted into nine apartments, the newspaper reports.

In other news, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the New York-based King Penguin Opportunity Fund led by Michael Mikelic is planning to acquire the 25-story Lawyers Building at 428 Forbes Ave. in Pittsburgh. The transaction is expected to close in mid-January for less than $4.5 million.

The historic 120,000-square-foot C-grade office property is owned by Union Real Estate. It dates back to the 1920s and is currently 77 percent leased. Before being used as an office facility, the building once housed a hotel called the Pittsburgher.

The property’s new owner intends to upgrade the facility with a rooftop deck, new finishes and new retail, and will also bring back its old name.

Mikelic’s King Penguin Opportunity Fund, which totals $50 million and includes mostly multifamily projects in New York, will now be targeting other investment opportunities in Pittsburgh, including office projects, apartments and student housing.

“We’re trying to do more because we don’t want to come down there just for one office building that’s pretty small,” Mikelic told the newspaper.

Photo credits: loopnet.com

Click here to read our most recent multifamily market snapshot for Pittsburgh.



Oxford Development Breaks Ground on Mixed-Use Riverfront Project in the Strip District

10 Dec 2014, 5:22 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Construction of a mixed-use development featuring office and apartments is currently under way in the city’s Strip District neighborhood.

The new development will cover an 11-acre stretch of Allegheny riverfront formerly used for trucking and storage. The site is located along Smallman and Railroad streets, between 25th and 28th streets.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Oxford Development Co. is investing $130 million in the upcoming Three Crossings project which derives its name from the historical modes of transportation that converged at the site—truck, rail, and barge.

Plans call for a 300-unit apartment complex called The Yards and an office component that would eventually comprise a set of four urban-flex buildings totaling 375,000 square feet. The development will also feature a 95-foot setback from the river, as well as a park, a 575-space garage, 100 bike storage units, kayak storage and retail space.

Designed to LEED Silver Certification standards by North Side-based WTW Architects, the project’s residential component will offer a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 474 square feet to 1,198 square feet. Amenities will include a bar and coffee lounge, a fitness center, swimming pool, riverfront trail access, mudroom with pet wash stations, game areas and fire-pits.

A former rail and truck yard, “The Yards at Three Crossings” will also provide lush green space in its big “back yard” along the riverfront for residents to enjoy.

Oxford CEO Steve Guy told the newspaper that his company’s initial plans at the site called for the construction of a total of 250,000 square feet of office space, an amount it eventually increased to 375,000 square feet in part because there are many companies interested in establishing their business close to the riverfront.

The first building to go up at Three Crossings will serve as the future headquarters of Rycon Construction. It is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.

Photo credits: Oxford Development

Click here to read our most recent multifamily market snapshot for Pittsburgh.



Forest City Enterprises Plans New Apartments, Offices and a Hotel at Station Square in Pittsburgh

8 Dec 2014, 2:16 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Forest City Enterprises is planning to convert the east side of the waterfront Station Square complex in Pittsburgh into 300 apartments, offices and a hotel.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Cleveland-based company has retained Trammell Crow Co. to develop the project, which will cover a 14-acre site on the south side of the Monongahela River. Forest City owns the land and will lease it for the new development.

Construction on the first batch of apartments is expected to begin in the spring and be complete in 2017.

The units will be included in two connected buildings of four to five stories each, with underground parking and a retail portion. The construction schedule on the remaining two phases of the development will depend on the market.

The city’s planning commission is expected to review the project this month. If approved, the new apartments would mark Forest City’s first major new development at Station Square since 2002, when the company completed a $25 million, 104-room expansion of the Sheraton hotel, along with the $25 million Bessemer Court project, which brought a Hard Rock Café to the complex, among other restaurants, as well as a fountain synchronized to lights and music.

“Forest City has renewed interest in the Pittsburgh market,” Jim LaRue, asset manager for Forest City Commercial Management, told the newspaper. “We’ve been in this market for quite a while. We disposed of the assets we wanted to get out of and we’re focused now on doing what’s best for Station Square.”

In other local news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pittsburgh Public School board has approved the sale of the Rogers School building in the city’s Garfield neighborhood for $275,000, its asking price.

The buyer, Impakt Development Inc., is planning to redevelop the property into 30 to 40 market-rate apartments.

The building, which dates back to 1915, closed in 2009, when its middle school moved to CAPA, in the city’s downtown area. It costs $39,000 a year to maintain and, so far, the district has accumulated $42,164 of debt on the property.

Photo credits: www.forestcity.net

Click here to read our most recent multifamily market snapshot for Pittsburgh.



U.S. Steel Announces New World Headquarters Project in Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District

29 Nov 2014, 5:04 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

In a joint announcement with the Pittsburgh Penguins, United States Steel Corp. has unveiled its plans to establish a world headquarters at the 28-acre site of the former Civic Arena in the city’s Lower Hill District.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the new five-story building will offer a total of 268,000 square feet of space, with 800 of U.S. Steel’s employees occupying 250,000 square feet. The rest of the facility will host the company’s steel museum, along with other retail space.

Construction on the project, which will consolidate a number of U.S. Steel’s operations currently housed in the 64-story U.S. Steel Tower downtown, is expected to begin in August or September 2015 and be completed in about 22 months. The company’s lease term spans a minimum of 18 years.

Still in its early stages, the Civic Arena redevelopment led by the Pittsburgh Penguins will include a 600,000-square-foot office component, 200,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space and about 1,100 residential units.

Located across the street from CONSOL Energy Center, the new U.S. Steel building will be owned and operated by a joint venture between developer Clayco and Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Redevelopment LP, an affiliate of the Penguins.

A final cost of the project will be released at a later date.

During the companies’ Nov. 24 news conference, Gov. Tom Corbett also announced a three-year $15 million commitment from the state of Pennsylvania that would support the construction of the new facility. Furthermore, U.S. Steel will receive new market tax credits from the City of Pittsburgh, along with additional incentives from the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance.

“As we continue on our Carnegie Way transformation journey and write the next chapter in the history of U. S. Steel, we are proud that our roots will remain firmly planted in Pittsburgh as we call the lower Hill our new home,” U.S. Steel President and CEO Mario Longhi said in a news release. “These headquarters are an important investment in our employees and our future, as we foster increased collaboration far beyond the walls of this new building.”

The project’s architect is Forum Studio, which is part of the Clayco group of companies.

“U. S. Steel has been such an integral part of Pittsburgh’s heritage, and now this iconic company is leading the way on an exciting and transformational development for the 21st century,” added Pittsburgh Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse.  “By placing its new headquarters here, U. S. Steel will be a catalyst for development on a site that we envision as a modern urban mix of residential, office and retail space. It is a great day for Pittsburgh and a great day for our region.”

Photo credits: United States Steel Corp. and Pittsburgh Penguins

Click here to read our most recent multifamily market snapshot for Pittsburgh.



Pillar Award Winner NRP Group Plans 295-Unit Multifamily Development in Suburban Pittsburgh

16 Nov 2014, 2:52 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

A new multifamily community could soon rise on about 21 acres in North Fayette Township.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Cleveland developer NRP Group is planning to build the 295-unit project on a site close to the IHOP restaurant and the Montour Trail. The property is owned by Forest City Enterprises, also of Cleveland, which is developing the nearby Mall at Robinson.

Although still in the early planning stages, NRP’s new residential development is set to include a mix of rental townhouses, garden-style apartments, as well as more traditional units in three- and four-story buildings.

Laura Ludwig, development director for the Parkway West community, told the newspaper that the project would now go through the township approval process.

The NRP Group is also developing the 319-unit Ascent 430 apartment complex in Warrendale, which is expected to be complete by next spring.  The property’s amenities will include a clubhouse with an expansive community center, business center/conference rooms, as well as a 24-hour fitness center, a resort-style swimming pool, picnic areas and outdoor grills, walking trails, wireless internet access throughout the clubhouse and outdoor amenity areas, and a variety of parking options.

Founded in 1995, the NRP Group is a full-service multifamily developer, general contractor and property manager. In 2009, 2012 and 2014, the company was recognized as Multifamily Development Firm of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as part of the association’s Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards. This year, the developer also received a 2014 Pillar Award for Best Garden Community Belleza at Cresta Bella in San Antonio (pictured), an upscale property with 288 units.

In the last three years, The NRP Group has developed and built almost 9,000 market-rate and affordable apartments nationwide. The company has also earned a number one ranking from Affordable Housing Finance magazine and has grown to one of the top 10 market-rate developers in the country.

Photo credits: The NRP Group

Click here to read our most recent multifamily market snapshot for Pittsburgh.







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