The Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday gave Aiello Development and the JRA Development Group exclusive rights to produce architectural plans for six parcels in the Federal North Corridor near the Garden Theater, as well as develop a budget and secure tenants, for six months (with the possibility of a six month extension). Their plans for the $3 million dollar mixed-use redevelopment on the northwest corner of the intersection of Federal and North include a Fifth Third Bank, retail stores, and apartments. The URA also approved the creation of a master plan for the rest of the area by the Central Northside Neighborhood Council. Read more about the news in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The advancement of the project is good news since I had feared that the project would be threatened by the slumping real estate market and difficulty securing financing that stalled the Riverparc Project. My fears seemed to have come true when I saw this posting by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation suggesting that Federal North was being postponed for community planning and further study. Although the news stories suggest that financing for the project hasn’t been secured yet, the small size of the project, the commitment of Fifth Third Bank, and the hot nationwide rental market gives me some optimism that they will be able to secure the funding despite the nation’s credit concerns.
In other news from the Central Northside, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh broke ground this summer on the new North Side Library at 1210 Federal St, Franco Harris’ efforts to open a restaurant on the North Side received a brief mention in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Allegheny General Hospital announced last fall that they would proceed with renovations on the Aeberli House, a historic structure once a funeral home at the corner of North and Sandusky. You can read more about the Aeberli building project from the news stories last year in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pop City Media.