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RECENT NEWS

Thursday
Apr092015

Smallman Place sells 20 condos shortly after listing them

Pittsburgh Business Times - April 9, 2015
By Tim Schooley

The first condo project of any scale under development in Pittsburgh in years is off to a strong sales start.

Jack Benoff, principal of suburban Philadelphia-based Solara Ventures, told the Pittsburgh Business Times the new 38-unit Smallman Place in the Strip District generated at least 20 sales agreements about a week after the project’s condos were posted on the multi-list.

That initial rush of sales agreements for Smallman Place is expected to meet the pre-sale requirements needed for the project’s financing, said Benoff. The condos at Smallman Place are priced at a range of about $250,000 to more than $600,000.

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Wednesday
Apr082015

Vitmore team wows city planning with distinctive 103-unit apartment project slated for Baum

Pittsburgh Business Times - April 8, 2015
By Tim Schooley

There’s never been much reason to expect the equivalent of a rave review from the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, given the agency’s task of vetting the design and impact of new development projects in the city.

But the developers of the new 103-unit Vitmore apartment project on Baum Bouleveard make have come the closest of any project presented during the Peduto administration for a new multifamily project that looks different from all the others designed and built during the current boom.

Pittsburgh Planning Commissioner Fred Brown described the Vitmore as one of first projects he’s been presented with to exceed all his expectations, whether it was for storm water management, parking, design or anything else for a development expected to achieve a LEED Gold rating.

“Any organization that is willing to exceed the main standards is one I look forward to working with,” said Brown.

The seven-story project features what architect Andrew Kotchen of New York-based Workshop APD called “urban windows,” breaks or indentations in the surface patterns of the facade, a design feature he said was added with the intent to “break down the scale of the mass” of structure’s box frame.

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Wednesday
Apr082015

Developer on apartment boom: 'It's been an incredible 10 years'

Pittsburgh Business Times - April 8, 2015
By Tim Schooley

As a measure of how much Pittsburgh is changing in terms of new apartment development, Kevin Keane, an executive vice president of Lincoln Property Co., makes a then-and-now comparison.

“Until probably 2003, the market saw some 600 units to 1,000 units developed a year," he said. "Today, we are seeing 1,500 to 2,300 units delivered annually. It’s been an incredible 10 years."

How much apartment development has become a driving real estate trend in Pittsburgh was the subject of the latest Corridors of Opportunity sponsored Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Business Times at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. Keane was joined by B. Lafe Metz, a lawyer who leads the real estate group for Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney PC, and Marc McAndrew, executive vice president and head of real estate banking for PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC) in a panel discussion.

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Tuesday
Apr072015

PMC gets green light for Schenley High School apartment plan

Pittsburgh Business Times - April 7, 2015
By Tim Schooley

PMC Property Group has hashed out a final plan with community approval to convert Schenley High School into an 180-unit apartment building.

In nonbinding vote, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission voted with two abstentions to recommend PMC’s site plan for the redevelopment project, enabling the project to push forward with final permitting allowing full demolition and construction.

“They really wanted to make sure everyone was on board,” said Dusty Elias Kirk, a lawyer representing PMC.

The site approval comes after Strada Architects, the designer for the project, was sent back to the drawing board to revise a previous plan to build on top of the school and add 10 more units, a proposal that was opposed on grounds of historic review, among other issues and concerns that lead to other revisions.

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Monday
Mar302015

Sneak peek: Topping off the structural steel at 2500 Smallman

Pittsburgh Business Times - March 30, 2015
By Tim Schooley

The basic framework is in place for Chuck and Kristen Hammel's big bet on high-end urban housing in the Strip District.

The architecture and design team for their 2500 Smallman project Monday celebrated the topping off of the basic structural steel for the development, which is taking a single-story warehouse and transforming it into 11 “city homes” of two and three levels being marketed for more than $1.2 million each.

It’s a project expected to cost $10 million for the shell and more than $18 million in total. The Hammels have opted to self-finance as Guardian Construction builds out 2500 Smallman based on a design by Desmone & Associates Architects.

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