Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Developer Looks at More Strip Property Firm Eyeing Warehouse near Produce Terminal

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Developer Looks at More Strip Property Firm Eyeing Warehouse near Produce Terminal

Article excerpt

The Chicago firm redeveloping the iconic produce terminal in the Strip District may extend its reach across the street.

McCaffery Interests has an option to buy a four-story warehouse building at 1600 Smallman St. that once housed the likes of Rosebud and Metropol. Dance clubs now occupy part of the space.

The disclosure came at a city Urban Redevelopment Authority board meeting on Thursday during which members gave approval to a preliminary tax increment financing plan to fund a host of public improvements on Smallman Street as part of the terminal development.

Robert Rubinstein, the URA's acting executive director, said McCaffery is considering a plan to convert the building at 1600 Smallman into offices "with some lower level retail, most likely." While the developer has an option on the property, which is privately owned, "It's not a done deal," Mr. Rubinstein said.

At the terminal, once a hub for produce wholesalers, McCaffery has advanced a proposal featuring 65,100 square feet of retail anchored by a "merchant shop" at one end; 57,385 square feet of open office space; 14,678 square feet of existing commercial; and 18 live-work apartments totaling 12,925 square feet.

The company also is planning to extend the elevated dock that runs the length of the 1,533-foot-long Strip landmark by 12 feet to make it easier to walk and to create pedestrian passages through the building at 17th, 18th and 20th streets.

Tax revenue from the terminal and 1600 Smallman redevelopments would be used to fund the tax increment financing plan, estimated at $7.5 million.

Improvements would include utilities, new sidewalks, traffic signals, and street crossings to improve safety as well as a Market Square-like public plaza at the end of Smallman near St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

"We understand and appreciate the grittiness that makes the Strip a great place, but at the same time people shouldn't have to fear for their life crossing the street," Mr. …

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