East End busway project roars ahead in job expected to bolster East Liberty
Demolition crews began tearing down buildings this week in East Liberty to clear the way for a $127 million transit-oriented development that includes making access to the East Busway easier.
Crews fenced off areas across the street from the Target store and closed pedestrian walkways over the busway, the first noticeable changes in the long-planned Eastside development.
“I forgot they closed the walkway. That's a pain, but I like the (plans) — once it's finished,” said Donna Terry, 55, of East Liberty. “Now that it's started, don't say you ran out of money and then go elsewhere for another project.”
The plans call for clearing the land north of the busway to make way for a 550-space parking garage, a new street and, later, residential buildings. The demolition includes a former tennis center and a Citizen's Bank drive-through. South of the busway will be landscaped paths that will allow people to walk easily from Penn and Shady avenues to the busway. The plans include bus shelters on both sides of the busway, said Rebecca Schenck, a project development specialist for the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
“It's an exciting project. It adds to connectivity and other development on that side of Penn Avenue,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “There will be bike access, pedestrian access; it just adds to what's happening there in the East End.”
Demolition is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Construction of the transit shelters, parking garage and landscaped access points is expected to be completed by June 2015. Construction of the residential buildings, which is expected to have 360 rental units, is scheduled to start then, Schenck said.
The $127 million price tag includes $23.5 million of public funds, such as grants and money from a Transit Revitalization Improvement District, which funnels money to infrastructure improvements in lieu of tax payments.
“I think it's a great project,” said Takisha Doss, 35, of Garfield, who uses the busway. “I think it'll make a better turnout for East Liberty. With them rebuilding everything, it's better for this area.”
Other parts of the Eastside development included Whole Foods, Walgreen's and Target stores, Schenck said.
The Eastside development is one of seven projects under way in East Liberty. Other projects include completed renovations of the Highland and Wallace buildings, which have housing and floor-level retail space; two hotels; Bakery Square 2.0 and a future cineplex and restaurant plan.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Fitzgerald stacks legislative wins as Allegheny council members struggle
- Transplant patients in limbo over coverage under UPMC-Highmark pact
- Revised anti-nepotism policy lets Allegheny County judges keep family in jobs
- Bucar grilled by City Council, likely to win approval as public safety chief
- United States proposes tougher rules for moving crude oil, ethanol by rail
- Newsmakers: Miriam Klein, Amy Kerr
- $24M water filter project at Aspinwall treatment plant nears kickoff
- Motive remains unclear in slaying of Kennedy Township man
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- Crisis of children seeps into Pittsburgh
- Hydro Green Energy wants to build hydroelectric plant on Monongahela River