Last week saw another significant milestone in the Strip District’s steady rise from its industrial, train and truck hub past.
The Buncher Company, a local property development group, agreed to sell four parcels of prime, Produce Terminal-adjacent land to Laurel Communities. They will use the site to complete their long-in-the-works Strip District Brownstones project.
The development will consist of 46 Brownstone-style townhouses. The condos, which will range in size from two bedrooms to four bedrooms each, will feature 3.5 floors and are projected to cost between $600,000 and $1 million. On-site work has already begun, and developers hope to have all of the homes finished within two years.
Laurel Communities has developed luxury homes in many of Pittsburgh’s emerging neighborhoods, including Bakery Square.
While there have been many high-profile office and retail projects announced in and around the Strip over the last several years, the townhouse project is significant in that it focuses on bringing family homes to an area still mainly known for markets, restaurants and sports gear for diehard Pittsburgh fans.
“This will bring 24-hour living to the Strip District,” says Geoff Campbell, a principal and director of operations and services at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, the architecture firm for Laurel Communities.
Speaking to NEXTpittsburgh, Campbell says he and the rest of his team took care to come up with designs that would blend into the iconic, early 20th-century architectural style of the existing Strip District.
Working in consultation with local stakeholders, the City Planning Commission and Riverlife, the team designed structures and facades that incorporate large, factory-style windows and brick detailing inspired by the Produce Terminal and other historic buildings in the area.
“We made this project protecting the character and architecture of the Strip,” Campbell says.
Mike Lee, president of the Strip District Neighbors community group, says that the townhouses and other developments like it represent a “tipping point” in the larger redevelopment of the neighborhood.
As projects like the Smallman Street resurfacing effort and the Produce Terminal redevelopment gather steam, other private developments are inspired to jumpstart their own work.
“You’re seeing more and more people start to execute their plans,” Lee says.
Lee also praised the Brownstone project specifically for developing condos instead of rental units, which will allow more wealth to stay within the community.
“It’s a great addition. It brings something new,” Lee says, “and they look cool.”