Real estate notes: Funding sought for Shannon Transit Village infrastructure projects
• The Shannon Transit Village in Castle Shannon will be among funding requests the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development will submit applications for on Monday to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for use of Community Development Block Grant Funds. The funds will be used to relocate a sanitary sewer and related appurtenances, along with other infrastructure improvements to accommodate planned reuse of a mixed residential and park-and-ride facility. Other funding will be sought for the North Braddock Urban Farm, requiring acquisition and partial demolition, renovation and alteration of a house at 1307 Bell Ave., plus four vacant parcels at 1303 and 1305 Bell Ave. and 1300 and 1302 Kirkpatrick Ave., to be converted into an urban farm. Also, funding will be sought for the demolition of the Penn-Lincoln Hotel at 789 Penn Ave., Wilkinsburg, and a parking garage in the vicinity of Wallace Avenue and Taylor Way.
• The Henry W. Oliver Building is nearing full occupancy following the lease signing of Sherrard German & Kelly P.C. law firm to occupy 21,000 square feet, during the third quarter of 2014. The lease brings the 25-story Downtown building to 90 percent occupancy, said Timothy Goetz, principal at Cushman & Wakefield/Grant Street Associates, who represented McKnight Realty Partners, the building's owner. Goetz also was involved in signing Campbell Durant Beatty Palumbo & Miller to 2,500 square feet on the seventh floor with a move in late first quarter of 2014 and the occupancy last year by Metz Lewis Brodman Must & O'Keefe into more than 21,000 square feet. Strategic Investment Fund leased 1,107 square feet on the 10th floor late last year. Embassy Suites will occupy floors 14 through 25 with an opening of its 228 units in early 2015.
• The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday will seek the approval of the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment to build 22 two-story structures for use as one-, two- and multi-family dwelling units, totaling 40 units, with on-site parking spaces at Meadow, Lenora, Carver and Ashley streets, in the city's Larimer area. The board also will be asked to approve OZ Real Estate Investment Services LLC's request to use an existing 2½-story structure as five dwelling units with proposed two-car parking pad in rear at 402 Winterburn Ave., Hazelwood. Blue Line Capital LP will seek approval to place 51-foot by 10-inch signs, mounted no higher than 20 feet, at 1014 (1008) Fifth Avenue, Hill District; William Pilossoph will seek approval to use the second floor of a single-family dwelling at 1405 E. Carson St., South Side, while continuing to use the first floor as a retail clothing store; and Stanton and Janet Marlan want to use a 2 1⁄2-story single-family structure at 5400 Hobart St., Squirrel Hill, for home occupation as a counseling office with up to 10 clients per day.
• The 15-story William S. Moorhead Tower, an independent-living facility in Pittsburgh's Oakland community, has new owners and a multimillion-dollar upgrade planned. The 141-unit Section 8 housing complex, at 375 N. Craig St., Oakland, has been purchased by Ralph A. Falbo Inc. of Pittsburgh and Beacon Communities of Boston as general partners under Moorhead Preservation Ltd. Partnership, for $7.69 million from Craig Street Tower Associates of Rockville Park, Md. The building will retain its Section 8 subsidy over a 30-year period. “We will begin an $8.1 million renovation of the building, including modernizing the kitchen and bathroom in each unit, the corridors and lighting, along with the windows and the exterior skin of the building,” said Michael Polite, Falbo president. Also included is an addition to the building for administrative use. Funding for the acquisition was provided through a $6 million first mortgage from Walker Dunlop and sale of $13.1 million in tax credit equity, provided by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, over a 10-year period to a local bank, he said.
• Bids will be sought for the first phase of the Downtown Kittanning Impact Project in March 2014 with construction activity starting no later than the spring of 2014. The work will include the removal and relocation of overhead utilities, sidewalk replacement, construction of safer pedestrian crossing areas, decorative historic-style streetlights and mast-arm traffic signals, new street trees, implementation of two-way traffic on McKean Street and street resurfacing, striping and signage. Preliminary plans for Phase II are being developed with hopes of construction in 2015.
— Sam Spatter