Real estate notes: Red Cross moving to Strip District
By Sam Spatter
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

• The Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania has found a new home. The agency, whose building at 225 Blvd. of Allies is under a sales agreement, purchased the two- and four-story building at 2801 Liberty Ave., Strip District, for $1.95 million from Sargent Electric's parent, Madison Realty Group. The 31,000-square-foot structure includes an adjacent parking lot. Once the sale of the Red Cross building is completed, unless the work on its new building is finished, Red Cross will lease back the Blvd. of Allies building until it can make the move, said Jim Kelly who with Brad Totten, both principals with Avison Young, represented the buyer. Cynthia Kamin of CBRE Inc. represented Sargent Electric, the seller.

• Whole Foods plans to install a pub, serving a limited selection of food, on the second level of its East Liberty store, Katie Malloy, a Whole Foods spokeswoman, said in an email. “We have secured a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board restaurant license, but there are no other plans for a restaurant,” she said, referring to the expansion planned at Whole Foods' East Liberty store on Centre Avenue. Whole Foods also wants to expand its prepared foods and produce sections there. Current construction plans call for the 32,000-square-foot store to be expanded by 14,500 square feet, with the addition of a two-story front to the building. The ground-level addition will add 8,300 square feet, topped by a proposed mezzanine of 6,200 square feet. Also proposed is an 800-square-foot addition on the first level, opposite the railroad tracks. To compensate for the loss of parking space, the Mosites Co., owner of the building, is planning an 82-car parking deck above the existing parking area. There will be an entrance from the second-floor parking deck to the second floor. An artist sketch of the expansion shows new windows installed along the Centre Avenue entrance on both first and second levels, plus a patio area for pedestrian access to the store. Mosites expects its work on building the shell of the expansion and the parking garage to be completed six months after a March start. Whole Foods expects to complete the interior and exterior by March 2015.

• Presbyterian Senior Living has started a $10 million transformation of St. Andrew's Village, a retirement community in Indiana County. Plans are to completely reconfigure the 31-year-old, 131-bed community by creating four smaller, distinct households within the facility. One will be for memory support, one for short-term rehabilitation and two for residents needing long-term residential care. Each household will be designed around a care community center. Country-style kitchens and private dining areas with flexible schedules will replace cafeteria-style dining. Individual locked medicine cabinets in each apartment will be replaced with traditional rolling carts servicing entire hallways. Outdoor space will be larger, with residents able to eat outdoors, have therapy outdoors or make use of walking trails throughout the community. The community will be asked to help raise $250,000 to $300,000 toward the project.

• Danick Inc. will seek the approval of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday for continued use of the first floor at 2203 Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill, as a restaurant along with 950 square feet on the second floor, where a community center plus offices are also located. Also that day, Atwood Bates LLC will seek approval for a multiple-family dwelling at 402 Atwood St., Oakland, with six units, plus five-car parking area and one parking pad space in an integral garage in an adjacent structure.

• Four major sites in Greens­burg, Westmoreland County, will be included in $3.25 million tax-exempt revenue notes sought by the Westmoreland Cultural Trust through the Westmoreland County Industrial Development Authority at a public hearing Thursday. The funds will be used to finance or refinance the current loans for The Train Station at Greensburg, 101 Ehalt St.; The Palace Theatre, 21 W. Otterman St.; The Stark/James Building, 33 W. Otterman St.; and the Union Trust Building, 102-06 N. Main St. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioner's Meeting Room, first-floor Courthouse Square, 2 N. Main St., Greensburg.

• Kevin J. Martin has changed the name of the ownership of an office/warehouse complex he owns under a different name at 100 Keystone Drive, Scott. His Pinball Bug LP firm, of which he is a general partner, “sold” the 1.7-acre site to The Repay Foundation Inc., of which he is president, for $1. However, he paid $26,400 in transfer taxes since the property value was placed at $1.32 million.

— Sam Spatter

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