Historic Allegheny City public works stable to become apartments
The last municipal building still standing from the days when Pittsburgh’s North Side was its own separate city is destined to become an apartment building.
North Side-based Go Realty is restoring the old Allegheny City Stables — vacant for more than a decade.
The estimated project cost is $7.5 million with no public subsidies.
The building in the 800 block of West North Avenue once stabled horses and carriages used by the public works department of the former Allegheny City, which was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907. The three-story brick and sandstone building dates to 1895. It once housed wagons on the first floor, horses on the second and hay and feed on the third. A large hoist lifted the horses to their stables.
“This project is exciting, because it’s a catalyst for activating a full city block,” said Andrew Reichert, Go Realty’s owner and developer. “It’s also personal for me, as our offices are right next door, and I live just blocks away. I’m honored to have an opportunity to develop in the North Side where I live and work.”
Reichert was joined Wednesday by city elected officials and dignitaries for a ceremonial ground breaking at the building. The event featured Pittsburgh police on horseback.
Reichert is planning an addition to the existing building and a total of 36 residential units, including studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in rent from $1,500 to $1,900 per month. They are scheduled to open by the summer of 2020.
Amenities include 29 indoor parking spots, a fitness center, laundry and historical display in the lobby.
The building in 2007 was subject of an intense neighborhood campaign led by the Allegheny West Civic Council to save it from demolition. A company that owned a small scrap yard behind the former stables wanted to buy and raze the building so the yard could be expanded. The threat ended after neighborhood leaders successfully lobbied Pittsburgh City Council to designate the building as a historic structure.
Allegheny West Development Corp., a subsidiary of the Allegheny West Civic Council, bought the building for $249,000 in 2008 and sold it to Stables Development Corp. in 2016 for $400,000, according to Allegheny County real estate records.
John DeSantis, a past council president, said the organization in 2007 developed a plan for an area dubbed the Lofts District to convert about 25 vacant, 19th century industrial buildings into apartments and condominiums. The area is a triangular section between West Avenue and railroad tracks.
“The stables project is really a linchpin for that plan because it’s right in the middle of this Lofts district,” DeSantis said. “Five or six years from now, we anticipate 200 units of housing just in that 800 block. The properties have already been purchased by developers that are planning to do something like this, but everybody has been kind of sitting on their wallets waiting for somebody else to write the first check. We’re so grateful to Go Realty for doing that.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .