More apartments in, houses out at Bakery Square 2.0 project in East Liberty
Plans to develop 20 single-family houses have been dropped in favor of a second apartment building at the $100 million Bakery Square 2.0 project in East Liberty that is being developed by Walnut Capital Partners.
But residents who attended a community meeting on Wednesday at the Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside questioned the decision and had other concerns about what they see as a lack of parking planned for the project.
“I was looking forward to having new single-family housing built there. Why have you eliminated them?” asked Bonnie Schwartz, a homeowner in the adjacent Village of Shadyside.
Todd Reidbord, a partner of Walnut Capital which is a major apartment owner in Shadyside, said his company studied what kind of housing is preferred by employees of the orginial Bakery Square project on the other side of Penn Avenue. “(It) determined they preferred rental apartments, something we know more about,” he said.
Reidbord said plans are to begin construction of the first apartment building in March with a June 2014 opening.
It will be a five-story, 175-unit U-shaped building with underground parking built on the Putnam Street side. Rents will range from $900 to $1,000 per month.
Outside of that change, the project remains basically the same as outlined at a community meeting in May.
Reidbord said demolition of the existing Reizenstein School will begin shortly and that the steel will be reused in construction while the concrete will be smashed and used for roads and other items.
“Our plan is to use what is demolished,” he said.
The second apartment building, containing the same basic size and number of units as the first, will be built later on a site opposite the first apartment, he said.
Still part of the development is construction of several office buildings on Penn Avenue; construction of 20 or more rental townhouses, and building a new four-lane road that would allow parking on both sides. A bicycle path would be included along the road.
The townhouses won't be started until fall 2014 and construction of the offices will depend on demand from potential tenants, Reidbord said. “There will be no retail and no restaurants on the 12-acre site,” he said.
A major concern raised by residents of the Point Breeze area was parking on neighborhood streets by employees or visitors to Bakery Square 2.0.
“Homeowners have trouble now parking on their streets, such as McPherson, because of students from Chatham University and other facilities nearby,” said Marilyn Kennedy, a member of the Point Breeze Neighborhood group.
“We're trying to get the city to approve parking permits for these streets, but if the city doesn't, what can be done to prevent workers at Bakery Square 2.0 from parking on our streets? “ she asked.
Reidbord said an 850-car garage at Bakery Square is under used and can accommodate workers and visitors.
The meeting, attended by nearly 100, was scheduled by City Councilman William Peduto and included representatives from the Shadyside Action Coalition, East Liberty Development and the Point Breeze group.
Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Symposiums to spotlight Pittsburgh’s role as an energy powerhouse
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Balancing gas pipeline expansion, environmental unease a problem in Pennsylvania
- More companies embrace exchanges to curb health care costs
- Bayer to spin off plastics unit as separate company; employment to remain stable
- Range Resources to pay $4.15M fine, close old gas drilling impoundments
- Families, friends become lenders of last resort for homebuyers
- Congress: Safety agency mishandled GM recall
- U.S. Steel shares jump on turnaround strategy
- Consol, Noble expect at least $325 million from partnership’s IPO
- Chevron gets first OK from Pa. sustainable drilling group