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mjcatl2

More lofts for Pgh N and S sides...

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Builder sets 'lofty' goals for city sites

By Sam Spatter

FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

One of Pittsburgh's older neighborhoods -- the slowly improving commercial area on East Ohio Street on the North Side -- is about to get upscale loft apartments.

SD Properties, a local investment company, has acquired four commercial buildings in the 400 and 500 blocks of East Ohio Street and has a sales agreement on the Allegheny Community Church property between Avery and Lockhart streets.

In addition, Morgan P. Kronk of Morgan Properties, serving as construction manager and acquisition agent for SD Properties, has purchased the four-story building at 1212 E. Carson St., South Side, and will convert it into 13 loft apartments with retail on the first floor.

"These (North Side sites) are unique buildings, and we plan to convert them into in excess of 30 loft apartments, with construction probably to start in 2006 and available in 2007," Kronk said.

He estimated the cost of the North Side project at up to $7 million and the South Side at about $3.5 million.

This upgrading of buildings along East Ohio Street is welcome, said Nick Kyriazi, president of the East Allegheny Community Council. Some of the buildings there date back to the 1880s.

"We're thrilled to death that the second and third floors of these buildings, which are vacant, will become apartments," said Kyriazi, who himself is upgrading a three-unit apartment building at 526 Lockhart St. He believes any new loft apartment could command rents of up to $1,000.

Dutch MacDonald of EDGE studio, the architect on both SD projects, said work on the South Side building will include refreshing the front exterior, but replacing the windows on the back of the building. Work should start about July 1 with occupancy within 10 months.

"There will be two private roof gardens for use by tenants of two luxury apartments planned on the fourth floor, while the remaining tenants will share a third roof garden," he said.

There will be two one-bedrooms, nine two-bedrooms and two three-bedroom units, ranging in size from about 800 to 2,000 square feet.

The North Side buildings include the Carlisle at 407 E. Ohio, the Hollander at 415 E. Ohio, the Stephens Memorial Chapel at 600 Cedar Ave., and the former Irish Club at 533 E. Ohio.

The Carlisle building was the former home of Carlisle's of Pittsburgh, which claims to be America's oldest bridal salon. Opened in 1888 by Sophia Carlisle, it remained at the East Ohio Street location until December 2001, when it relocated to Day Wedding & Event Center in the Strip District.

The funeral home has a long-term lease on its building and no date has been set for relocation, Kronk said. The church property includes a parking area adjacent the funeral home.

Kronk and Kyriazi are not alone in converting older buildings into apartments in the East Ohio Street area.

Ed and Ann Graf, former owners of the Priory Hotel at 614 Pressley St., recently opened three two-bedroom apartments above the Priory Fine Pastries at 528 E. Ohio, where rents range from $750 to $875. They plan another apartment above retail space at 401 E. Ohio.

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Thats great news! the downtown region (north and south shores) is really starting to turn the corner in my view.

Mj, just a note b/c of copyright concerns the mods have agreed that paraphrasing the article or a quote of only the first few paragraphs is the best route when using an article. Please dont cut and paste 100% of it, could lead to some copyright problems. (I realize this is a grey area in the law but we are trying to show our good faith to other publications). Thanks for your cooperation.

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Too bad the apartments planned for the North Shore have to wait for the Parking Garage & T-link to be constructed first.

Plus, that other excuse of not wanting to have dirt mounds anywhere near PNC Park for when basseball's All-star game is played there next year.

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Too bad the apartments planned for the North Shore have to wait for the Parking Garage & T-link to be constructed first.

Plus, that other excuse of not wanting to have dirt mounds anywhere near PNC Park for when basseball's All-star game is played there next year.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't see the harm in some dirt mounds. It shows things are being built! I really hope the media pick up on the North Shore development when they are here for the All-Star game. America needs to see that Pittsburgh has growth.

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I don't see the harm in some dirt mounds. It shows things are being built! I really hope the media pick up on the North Shore development when they are here for the All-Star game. America needs to see that Pittsburgh has growth.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmmm, I tend to disagree on that "see the construction" thing, not that its not the intelligent approach (it actually is) but the way the American consumer is these days only watches for about 5 seconds before forming their opinion and they don't worry about details, its all the next shiny new thing . . . that's exactly one of the reasons Pittsburgh gets beat up in its stereotypes by the "hipsters" because they won't sit down for 5 min and actually see what value Pittsburgh has (no megagay bar well on to southbeach etc. etc.). No I think mounds of dirt is all to similar to the "hell with the lid off" stereotype the 89% of Americans that are spoon fed their information and news. Plus it diminishes all the great things about PNC (the view of downtown the bridges the ferry boats) making them look like THEY were the last minute window dressings for the ASG and the exception to the rule (when they are the rule to the exception of the dirt mounds). I think its wise to put THE best possible light on Pittsburgh, the city won't get this kind of exposure for another 20 years or so, the time is now (or next summer to be specific).

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You may be right. Maybe it is better if they don't see dirt mounds, but they do see a couple of cranes in the sky? When I was in the suburbs of DC a couple years ago, there were lots of things being built, and cranes in the sky, and it gave the impression of growth. If people watching the All-Star game on TV saw a couple of cranes.... That would really help diminish the image of a "dying" city!

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Cranes are a nice touch, the cranes have been up too across the river along Penn Avenue building the hotels I think it is. As long as its done as pleasing to the eye, similar to what a Walt Disney World does where the wood fence 18 feet high is an attraction in itself--a huge mural of disney magic etc. etc.--so your not thinking construction dirt but temporary entertainment when you look at it. The area around the base of the Duquesne Incline with 5 foot high weeds etc. is another place that should and could be made into a beauty spot, being that it is the gateway to Mt. Washington's vista and vice versa to downtown and the northshore. Construction shouldn't be slowed at all (I think its going too slow right now), but the city and some of the foundations should realize that downtown the north and south shore are going to be a big ol disneyland to sports fans next summer and should borrow a lesson from disney, construct construct construct but make the facade of all that appealing, entertaining and awe inspiring to cover the temporary blight. I'm not the artsy type, as far as I'm concerned a gravel pit is as charming as a river ride (yeah I need help lol) but unfortunatly the American mind has been trained to grab the shiniest image at that moment and get repeled away from anything rugged, rough and tough but dirty. Most of the Gen-Mall kids don't realize you have to BUILD the shiny bright mall first then its shiny and bright.

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