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Nov. 6, 2013

Mixed-Income Housing Community Breaks Ground in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Federal, state and local officials have joined nonprofit Community Builders, Inc. to celebrate the groundbreaking of a $14.2 million residential and commercial development in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood.  

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the complex known as East Liberty Place South will feature 52 mixed-income apartments and 11,000 square feet of commercial space slated to accommodate both retail and hospitality businesses. The building, which is expected to be complete by next fall, will also offer a variety of amenities, including a club room, roof deck, indoor bicycle storage, a business center, and a fitness center.

Built with the help of tax credits, the four-story structure will rise on North Liberty Street, at the former site of the East Mall high-rise, which was demolished in 2005. Only 25 percent of the new residences will be market-rate, while the rest will be reserved for households earning up to 60 percent of area median income.  

Community Builders is also the developer and manager of East Liberty Place North, a 54-unit apartment community located directly across Penn Avenue from the current construction site. The company’s other mixed-income housing projects in East Liberty include Pennley Commons, New Pennley Place and Penn Manor.  

“We are a nonprofit, mission-driven company, and a big part of our mission is to provide and maintain access to low-income housing but in a healthy neighborhood context,” Jim Eby, senior project manager for Community Builders, told the newspaper. “There had been no market-rate housing in East Liberty for many years.”

In other local news, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that M&J Wilkow has decided to convert the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Pittsburgh into a 180-room Drury Inn & Suites hotel. The company acquired the building in July from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for $3.75 million.

Construction on the approximately $30 million redevelopment project is expected to begin next fall. Upon completion in November 2015, the hotel will be the first Drury-branded property in Pennsylvania.

Photo credits: Community Builders