Former Overbrook Middle School conversion to assisted-living center expected to be completed by spring 2014
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The former Overbrook Middle School building could become a home for senior citizens by spring 2014, according to the head of a start-up company that is buying the property.
Monroeville-based Valcott Enterprises LLC is buying the 90-year-old building and 5.5 acres at 2140 Saw Mill Run Blvd., which is part of Route 51, from Pittsburgh Public Schools, said Barb Valaw, chief executive officer of Valcott Enterprises LLC. The $50,100 sale is expected to close on Jan. 31, she said.
The district closed the school in 2001, and until a few months ago, the building held the district's administrative services for special education.
“I want to show the potential for development for Route 51 and the Carrick-Overbrook area,” Valaw said.
Valcott is partnering with The NRP Group LLC, a Cleveland-based multifamily-housing developer, to redevelop the former school as Overbrook Estates.
The building will have 91 beds for people who need assistance with daily tasks, such as dining, bathing and taking medications. Adjacent to the old school are two baseball fields, on which NRP plans to build 50 independent-living apartments after buying the land from Valcott, Valaw said. Valcott's sale of the baseball fields to NRP is contingent upon NRP receiving tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency, she said.
The Overbrook Estates project is being called a “transit-oriented development” because the developers plan to replace a pedestrian bridge that was behind the site in order to connect Saw Mill Run Boulevard to a light rail and bus stop, the Overbrook T station, said Greg Jones, executive director of Economic Development South, a nonprofit whose members are Baldwin, Whitehall and Brentwood, and the city of Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Carrick and Overbrook.
Though the former school is in the Overbrook neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Economic Development South has been involved in the redevelopment plan. It found a development partner for Valcott because Route 51 as a whole could benefit from the redevelopment of the somewhat-blighted property, Jones said.
“It's the difference between ... a project that will be tens of millions of dollars in new investment and a site that might otherwise sit empty for 30 years,” he said.
Valcott will manage Overbrook Estates, Valaw said.
Valaw hopes that NRP will receive the tax credits in time for construction to start this summer. The work is expected to take nine to 12 months, she said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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