Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is always one to tout growth in his city, but he says one of the latest proposals is too tall.

New York developer JMC Holdings recently announced its plans to demolish the former Wholey’s warehouse building in the Strip District and replace it with a 950,000-square-foot, 21-story, glass office tower.

But Peduto says the proposed design doesn’t fit in with the character of the neighborhood. “The architectural design doesn’t match the Strip District,” Peduto says.

“The design makes the building stand out in an area where there’s been a lot of growth, but where there’s been an attempt to make the new buildings blend in with the historic nature of the area, and the design of that building should do the same.”

The proposed building, called 1501 Penn Ave., is designed by Brandon Haw Architecture of New York.

Clearly, it would loom over the rest of the Strip District, where there aren’t many buildings that reach even 10 stories. It’s on the Downtown end of the Strip, however, where taller buildings are more common. The location is within the Downtown zoning district, where taller buildings are allowed.

The Strip District has been booming with new development lately, particularly related to robotics and the high-tech industry. Facebook is nearby with a lab working on advanced avatar research.

JMC Holdings declined to comment Friday on the Peduto’s remarks, but a company official spoke about the design last week.

“In our opinion, this building, given that it is at the beginning of the Strip District but still has the Golden Triangle zoning designation, represents the best development opportunity in Pittsburgh,” Matthew Cassin, of JMC Holdings, said in an earlier statement.

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife,...