Renovation of a former railway roundhouse at Hazelwood Green is set to become the next major development project at Almono’s 178-acre site along the Monongahela River.
On Tuesday, GBBN will present its design to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission for converting the Roundhouse, one of three buildings preserved at the former LTV Steel Works site, to business use.
The 10-bay roundhouse and turntable, built in 1887, “functioned to stabilize train engines for servicing, and to turn them, redirecting the materials they carried through the processes of production, and on to final distribution,” GBBN says.
Almono has completed remediation and stabilization work to ready the Roundhouse for redevelopment. Half of its roof was replaced, and an enclosure that was collapsing was taken down to expose its skeleton. New steel foundations were spliced onto the bottom of old columns within the structure, GBBN says.
The building is positioned in Hazelwood Green’s Mill District, not far from Mill 19, the modern mill built inside the bones of an old industrial building that opened in September. Mill 19 houses AI, automation and robotics work by Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative, the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute and the economic development nonprofit Catalyst Connection.
The global technology company Aptiv is expected to occupy Phase B of Mill 19 sometime this spring. The Pump House is the third former mill building remaining at the site.
With its plan to make use of “people-first” designs and natural conditions, Hazelwood Green is being developed as a model for sustainable community development. The site plan envisions more than 30 acres of public space and thousands of housing units in addition to the office, research and commerce facilities that are being built first.
GBBN says the ultimate use of the Roundhouse at 4165 Blair St. is undetermined but its team wants to restore it as a way to connect the past to the present. A small addition will be built at the rear and a new partial second floor will be added to the existing building, according to the presentation prepared for city planners.
The landscaping will include a rain garden with outdoor seating and public open space. The Roundhouse and Mill 19 will share a parking lot, although street parking also is available on Blair Street. Eight exterior and 10 interior bicycle parking spaces will be created at the building, as will several accessible parking spaces.
Crews will sandblast and repaint the roundhouse and reuse some of the existing brick, concrete and steel. Part of the public space will have decking. The project is on track for LEED Gold certification, GBBN says.