Oxford rendering of 3 Crossings Phase 2.

The second phase of Oxford Development Company’s 3 Crossings development in the Strip District will add more office and apartment buildings along with a park, two plazas and a pavilion to the riverfront property.

Oxford details Phase 2 of 3 Crossings — which includes The Stacks, two buildings nearing completion — in a master development plan the company submitted for City Planning Commission review.

The $273 million project encompasses 11 acres bounded by 27th, 29th and Smallman streets and the southern shore of the Allegheny River.

Rendering of 75 Hopper Place. Courtesy of Oxford Development Company.

Oxford’s Marketing Director Megan Stearman has said the development will happen over five years.

“We’d like to continue with the success we’ve had with phase one and integrate and build a community within the Strip District for increased employment and for residential in the city,” says Ben Kelley, director of planning and development for Oxford.

The 3 Crossings property has housed railway switchyards, a steel mill foundry, a box factory, a trucking terminal, warehouses and surface parking lots.

Although the river is a primary natural feature, it largely has been inaccessible for recreational use because of the remnants of heavy industry, Oxford notes. A riverfront plaza is one of two plazas proposed for the project.

The hopper as it now stands at the 3 Crossings development site. Photo by Tracy Certo.

“While there are no current plans for a riverfront trail, the riverfront plaza could act as the primary access point if and when one is constructed,” Oxford says. That plaza would be the location for the 50-foot industrial hopper, a long-time fixture on the property, with plans to refurbish and light it.

The second phase of 3 Crossings will include plazas and a new street. Rendering courtesy of Oxford Development Company.

The master development plan outlines six office buildings, two residential buildings, a stand-alone garage and a park. But the final development plans could vary from this concept “depending on tenant needs and market viability,” Oxford says.

The project will be designed to look like it was built over time,” says Kelley. “That’s one of the things I’m proud of,” he notes. “Each building will have a different design with different design firms.”

The Stacks, the two office buildings that are well underway (pictured below), will be clad with metal panels in shades of silver and gray, he says.

Those buildings are being constructed in three bays of the former Packaging Corporation of America warehouse. Each building is three stories, and a shared plaza between them is being built beneath exposed steel roof trusses from the former warehouse.

Two buildings nearing completion at 3 Crossings. Photo by Tracy Certo.

A third, six-story office building would front Hopper Place, a street to be constructed. “It is envisioned as a shared-use street for bicycles and pedestrians and will provide only limited access for vehicles to buildings,” Oxford notes.

The street is designed to be an extension of Hopper Park, designed as programmable outdoor space and a place to display public art fashioned from artifacts salvaged during the demolition of industrial structures.

A fourth, five-story commercial building will be designed with access from Hopper Place or the riverfront plaza that will be constructed with it. That building’s exact location on the site is undetermined.

The stand-alone garage is planned as a four-story, 604-space structure that will include some parking spaces for Strip District visitors. In all, the development will provide 1,300 garage and street parking spaces.

Two other commercial buildings are conceived as five-story structures atop a shared integral below-grade parking structure. Alternatively, these could be developed as a single building.

Two five-story apartment buildings would provide a total of 300 units, including some at affordable housing rates. But if housing market conditions change, Oxford notes, one of those buildings could become stacked townhomes; the other could be used for offices and research.

Throughout the site, the developers will add sidewalks and street lighting. The development will be built to LEED Silver standards or greater.

They have worked closely with the Strip District neighbors as well as Riverlife, says Kelley, as part of their commitment to the neighborhood.

Oxford broke ground on 3 Crossings in 2014 and this year announced it was moving its corporate offices from Downtown to the development’s Riverfront West building at 2501 Smallman St.

Sandra Tolliver

Sandra Tolliver is a freelance writer, editor and public relations professional in Upper St. Clair.