Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Several projects in Pittsburgh's Hill District advancing - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Five developments on Centre Avenue in the Hill District could advance in the next 12 to 18 months, city Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle said Tuesday of work that would complement the reinvention of the Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill.

The city Urban Redevelopment Authority is expected to move one of the projects forward Thursday.

The board, which includes Mr. Lavelle, will vote on entering into exclusive negotiations with E Properties and Development LLC of Lawrenceville for sale of authority-owned land at 2123-2137 Centre Ave. E Properties wants to use the vacant site for a four-story, 33,000-square-foot building with commercial space on the ground floor and mixed-income apartments on the other floors.

Over the next year to 18 months, Mr. Lavelle said, he also wants to move forward on the following: a mixed-use building at 2030 Centre that also would be built by E Properties; Ohio-based KBK Enterprises' proposal for a series of townhomes and mixed-use building on various lots along Centre; Ujamaa Collective's proposal for a market, boutique, offices and business incubator at 2239 Centre; and FOCUS Pittsburgh's proposal for a health clinic and other operations on property bounded by Centre and Soho and Hallett streets.

PG graphic: Centre Avenue redevelopment
(Click image for larger version)

Ujamaa is a Hill District cooperative now based at 1901 Centre. FOCUS Pittsburgh is a faith-based nonprofit with offices at 2228 Centre.

All five developments would be built on authority-owned sites. Neither Mr. Lavelle nor Marimba Milliones, executive director of Hill Community Development Corp., immediately could estimate the projects' costs.

The series of proposals "really highlights the diversity of needs and interests in the Hill District," Ms. Milliones said, adding that KBK, which is building new housing on the site of the Addison Terrace public housing complex in the Hill District, has been asked to better integrate that site with Centre Avenue.

Mr. Lavelle said the Centre Avenue projects will complement the Pittsburgh Penguins' redevelopment of the 28-acre arena site in the Lower Hill. The arena was demolished following construction of Consol Energy Center.

Community members had an opportunity to comment on the projects last week.

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