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RECENT NEWS

Tuesday
Jul142015

Revamped Macy's building to include hotel, apartments and retail

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - July 14, 2015
By Mark Belko

A Philadelphia developer has big plans to recruit retailers, restaurants and entertainment to replace a departing Macy’s Downtown, but some wonder whether it will be enough to fill the void left by the loss of the department store.

Hours after Macy’s announced its decision to close the iconic department store at Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, representatives for Core Realty said Monday that they intend to devote two floors to retail in the 13-floor building to complement plans for 311 apartments and a 155-room hotel.

“We think it’s something Pittsburgh is ready for and will embrace,” said Randy Mineo, Core’s executive vice president. “We’re excited about getting started with that process.”

Core is considering fashion retailers, restaurants, and entertainment, including a possible bowling alley, for the first two floors of the building, a couple hundred thousand square feet in all.

Mr. Mineo said the developer is “going after the very best retailers we can find” as part of the redevelopment, expected to top $90 million. He said talks with retailers are just beginning now that Macy’s has formally announced the store’s closing.

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Thursday
Jul092015

Produce Terminal project in Pittsburgh's Strip District gets fresh restart

Pittsburgh Tribune Review - July 9, 2015
By Tom Fontaine

The city's Urban Redevelopment Authority is restarting the clock on the crumbling Produce Terminal's long-awaited redevelopment.

“I just want to see this project progress and move forward. This has been an albatross around the neck of this public agency for more than a decade,” said authority board member Jim Ferlo.

URA, which owns the Strip District landmark, has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the five-block-long building. That includes the $1.1 million it paid to buy it in 1983 and the $640,000 it spent last year to reimburse a would-be former developer for improvements it made to the building. The agency could not provide annual maintenance costs.

URA voted Thursday to begin negotiations with another group of potential developers. Chicago-based McCaffery Interests Inc. and nonprofit developer Pittsburgh Gateways Corp. have up to 120 days to come up with a plan for the building.

Neither group offered a glimpse of what the development might entail, saying those details and financing for the potential project would be worked out in the next four months.

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Wednesday
Jul082015

Pittsburgh Gateways gets ready to seek ‘modified plan’ on Strip District produce terminal

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - July 8, 2015
By Mark Belko

A nonprofit economic development group involved in the transformation of the former Connelley Trade School in the Hill District may get a crack at redeveloping the Strip District produce terminal.

The city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority appears to be ready to turn to Pittsburgh Gateways Corp. as a potential co-developer with Chicago-based McCaffery Interests in remaking the landmark, a longtime hub for produce wholesalers that now is nearly empty.

Robert Meeder, CEO and president of Pittsburgh Gateways, said Tuesday he is expecting the URA board at its meeting Thursday to give his group four months to work with McCaffery to come up with a “modified plan” to redevelop the 1,533-foot-long Smallman Street warehouse.

The organization’s role, he said, will be to make sure the terminal is developed in concert with its history and in keeping with the interests of the community and its funders.

One avenue Pittsburgh Gateways hopes to explore is possible tie-ins to existing Strip merchants, particularly those on Penn Avenue. That could include additional retail opportunities at the terminal or perhaps even educational programming. Local retailers would be given preference over national chains or franchises, he said.

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Friday
Jun262015

Oxford furthers commitment for Emerald on Centre apartment project in East Liberty

Pittsburgh Business Times - June 26, 2015
By Tim Schooley

An Oxford Development Co. affiliate has closed on buying the East Liberty property for a new apartment complex near Whole Foods.

A firm called Emerald on Centre Apartments LP paid $3 million for two parcels at 5739 Centre Ave., one currently a Masterwork Paint operation, according to real estate records.

An Oxford spokesperson said the project is now expected to total 172 units, more than the previously proposed 148 units for the same six-floor proposal. The company now expects to have one level of subsurface parking along with a level of above ground parking. Before, Oxford planned to have two above-ground levels dedicated to parking.

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Friday
Jun192015

Port Authority moving ahead of apartments at two South Hills sites

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - June 19, 2015
By Jon Schmitz

Construction of two long-planned housing developments at Port Authority rail stations in the South Hills could begin this year.

An authority board committee on Thursday approved a land lease with Dawson Massaro Development Partners for a 300-unit apartment complex next to the South Hills Village parking garage and station. Construction could begin in late July or early August, said Michael Cetra, authority general counsel. The developers expect to have it ready for occupancy in spring 2017.

The partnership will pay the authority $180,000 per year for the 7.1-acre site in the early years of the 50-year lease, with escalation to $590,000 by the end. The developers will have three additional 20-year options on the site. The $46 million project is privately financed.

The committee heard a presentation about a 152-unit apartment building planned for the Castle Shannon park-n-ride lot. Lynn Colosi, consultant to JRA Development Group, said the “best case” scenario has construction on Shannon Village starting Nov. 1 and taking 18 to 24 months.

Construction is expected to close the park-n-ride lot for about a year, she said. A parking deck will be built next to the eight-story apartment building, providing 541 park-n-ride spaces (34 more than the existing lot) along with 208 spaces for residents and visitors. The building will have studio, one- and two-bedroom units with rents of $1,000 to $1,300 per month. The ground floor will have retail space.

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