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Plan for former hospital site detailed

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By Sam Spatter
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011

By the end of 2013, a vacant lot that once contained UPMC Braddock Hospital will be filled with housing and a community plaza, a commercial building with offices, retail and a medical facility, officials said Wednesday.

The $20.3 million project was announced Wednesday by William Gatti, president of Trek Development Group, the master developer, and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato.

Trek will begin construction of a two-and-a-half story office building next summer. The $6 million building, with 26,000 square feet of space, is expected to contain an urgent care medical center. That part of the project is being funded with $3 million in state money and $3 million in matching money from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Onorato said.

The medical center will offer on-site doctors and emergency services, Gatti said.

Still to be determined is whether the Community College of Allegheny County will move to the building or combine existing locations in the Mon Valley at this one site, Onorato said. CCAC has had discussions with the county, said David Hoovler, CCAC spokesman.

The college offers classes at the nearby Braddock Hills Shopping Center and is cramped there, Gatti said.

Construction of 24 units of rental housing, at a cost of $9.3 million, is expected to start next fall. Planned are eight one-bedroom apartments, eight two-bedroom townhouses and eight three-bedroom townhouses, with rental rates ranging from $675 to $900 a month, including utilities, Gatti said.

Trek has applied to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for low-income housing tax credits that would raise $8 million in equity to fund the rental housing.

Eleven single-family houses will be under construction in the spring of 2013 at a cost of $2.75 million. Gatti projects the houses will sell for about $140,000 each.

Development of a 20,000-square-foot community park on Braddock Avenue, will cost $250,000. Site infrastructure improvements, including installation of utilities, sidewalks and parking, will cost $2 million. Other funding for the development includes $4 million in federal, local and other investment sources and $1 million in private lending.

Gatti said the final plan is a result of meetings he held with borough residents, borough and county officials and with real estate experts to determine the best use of the property.

The hospital was closed in January 2010. Demolition was delayed until September 2010, because of opposition by residents of the borough.

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