Buncher Receives URA’s Support to Redevelop Railroad Terminal

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor The Buncher Co. made progress in pursuing its masterplan to redevelop the Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction Terminal Building and turn it into a mixed-use project. According to the Pittsburgh Business News, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) hopes to provide incentives for [...]

The Buncher Co. made progress in pursuing its masterplan to redevelop the Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction Terminal Building and turn it into a mixed-use project.

According to the Pittsburgh Business News, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) hopes to provide incentives for the redevelopment. URA has just entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Buncher. The MOU states that URA will make efforts to have the property and terminal nominated as being a part of the Strip District Historic District. Such a nomination could provide additional funding for the project.

Buncher’s masterplan calls for four major residential buildings to be located at the riverfront property, the repositioning of a terminal for retail and office space, and infrastructural improvements to accomodate the new uses. Also proposed is the addition of a new central road that would run from the back of the terminal structure from 11th Street to 23rd Street. 

In order to make room for a 120,000-square-foot office building and the reestablishment of 17th Street as a promenade, Buncher will have to demolish a 500-foot long addition of the terminal. This alteration has been considered intrusive, but in January, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation had decided that the project would be exempted from the federal 106 regulations.

Members of the preservationist communities have objected to the project by arguing that the demolition was too extensive, and that adjustments should be made. One member, Rob Pfaffmann, a leader on the Reuse the Igloo campaign and a principal of Pfaffmann + Associates, said that the project was moving too fast, and that a consensus hadn’t been reached between the preservation community and the developers.