Strip District riverfront work goes on with Produce Terminal plans on hold
A decision to delay redevelopment of the Strip District's Produce Terminal hasn't slowed development plans for 55 riverfront acres behind the 1,500-foot-long building, a developer said Wednesday.
“We're still on schedule with infrastructure work on the land that we own,” said Michael Kutzer, vice president for the Strip-based Buncher Co.
Buncher plans more than $400 million in office, retail and housing development. It acquired a $1.8 million option to buy the Urban Redevelopment Authority-owned Produce Terminal with plans to spend up to $25 million redeveloping the historic but crumbling building.
Buncher's plan to demolish about one-third of the Produce Terminal drew opposition from Mayor Bill Peduto and some preservationists. In an unusual deal reached in February, Buncher agreed to put the brakes on its plans for the Produce Terminal for up to six months while the city seeks alternative proposals from other developers.
Buncher's work continues at full speed.
Kutzer said the company expects to complete installing underground utilities by June or July. Then it will start paving a 3,700-foot road through the development area between 11th and 21st streets.
The site should be ready for building construction by the first or second quarter of next year, Kutzer said.
Kutzer said the company plans to start work on the site with construction of an office building near the Hampton Inn & Suites in the 1200 block of Smallman Street and an apartment building near the Produce Terminal.
Now, Kutzer said, “We'll prioritize the work based on what the decision is for the Produce Terminal,” declining to comment on the city's search for alternatives.
Three groups submitted proposals to redevelop the Produce Terminal: the Ferchill Group and MCM Co. Inc., both in Cleveland; a local group consisting of businessman Michael Rubino, Fourth River Development, Pfaffmann + Associates, Pennsylvania Commercial Real Estate Inc. and Market Ventures Inc.; and McCaffery Interests Inc. of Chicago.
MCM CEO Melissa Ferchill told the Tribune-Review last month it proposed spending $36 million to develop more than 200 rental apartments, a produce market, an art gallery, retail space and other amenities. It also would cut two holes in the building to provide vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access to the riverfront — something Buncher intended to do by tearing down part of the building and extending 17th Street.
A spokeswoman for the Rubino group declined to provide details about its proposal.
Kevin Acklin, Peduto's chief of staff and chief development officer, said Wednesday he doesn't expect a decision on the Produce Terminal for at least a month. North Shore-based Fourth Economy Consulting is studying the proposals, he said.
For an alternative proposal to be selected, Acklin said, “One of the factors is that it would have to be complementary with what Buncher wants to do on its property.”
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 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.
- Food assistance rises in Western Pa. despite drop in jobless rate
- Pope Francis calls for abortion mercy
- Killings of police officers leave departments on edge
- Animal activists targeting Vick at Steelers preseason game
- Judge allows conspiracy lawsuit against UPMC, Highmark to proceed
- Newsmaker: Bob Gilbert
- Woman commits suicide in North Braddock police holding cell
- Pittsburgh councilwoman introduces pair of bills to protect animals
- Risks don’t get any better as online dating prospers
- Pittsburgh poised to settle lawsuits from deadly flash flood in 2011
- North Shore’s Lacock Street to close 3 weeks for construction