Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Authority Seeking Proposals to Demolish, Replace Garage

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Authority Seeking Proposals to Demolish, Replace Garage

Article excerpt

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority is moving ahead with plans to demolish and replace a 586-space garage at Ninth Street and Penn Avenue, Downtown - even as it still holds out hope for a much broader development at the site.

Authority officials this week issued a request for proposals for construction management and architectural design services for the demolition of the current garage, and for the building of a new one with at least 600 spaces.

But that does not mean the authority has given up on efforts to do a much bigger development at the location, potentially incorporating residential, retail or other concepts, executive director David Onorato said.

In fact, Mr. Onorato said The Davis Companies of Boston and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust once again are talking about a possible condominium and retail development at the site after negotiations appeared to have collapsed in May.

The project, he said, would be essentially the same as the earlier one - up to 185 high-end condos built over four phases and 30,000 square feet of street-level retail in addition to a new garage, all at a cost of about $175 million.

As a result, the authority is "not closing out on the option" of a broader development at this point, Mr. Onorato said.

"I guess there's always hope as long as it's still open," he said of the talks. "That's how I look at it."

Jonathan Davis, The Davis Companies CEO and founder, said any discussions with the trust "are too premature to comment on."

"It's obviously an exciting piece of real estate that offers a lot of opportunities," he said.

Kevin McMahon, the trust's CEO and president, declined comment.

The project appeared to be dead in May after the trust, which owns several of the parcels needed for the development, ended negotiations with The Davis Companies after nearly a year of talks. …

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