Fire up the (rooftop) grill! The SkyVue Apartments at 3333 Forbes Avenue in Oakland are nearing completion and soon tenants can relax on a huge 21,000 square foot outdoor space with grilling stations, fire pits and gardens.

Adjacent to the apartments and on the same property is a 144-bed Marriot Residence Inn to be completed in April 2017. Together, these projects equal $125 million of new development for Oakland. SkyVue will incorporate studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments and over 10,646 square feet of real estate.

“This is new housing for Oakland where there has been nothing new in a long time,” says David Massaro, president and broker of record for Massaro Properties, LLC. “This is the first development in that market in a long time and there hasn’t been a new hotel either. This was an opportunity to break into the Oakland market where traditionally there hasn’t been land available.”

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The rooftop garden at SkyVue. Courtesy of SkyVue Apartments website.

The 14-story SkyVue development is located across from Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC between Halket Street and Craft Avenue. It will include 389 residential units and a structured parking garage with 356 spaces as well as bike parking.  Additional onsite amenities include a fitness facility, dog walk and pet washing station, meeting rooms and conference spaces, all with sweeping views of the city.

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A kitchen at the SkyVue Apartments. Courtesy SkyVue website.

In 2009, the team of Massaro Properties, Langholz Wilson Ellis and TKA Architects was selected by Allegheny County through a Request for Proposals process to develop a site owned by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). After purchasing the site from ACHD and some adjacent land Massaro partnered with RISE, a faith-based real estate company based in Georgia. RISE has developed the SkyVue Apartments and Massaro is the contractor for both the apartments and the hotel as well as the developer of the Marriot.

Both projects were designed working closely with community organizations and they were informed by community development plans. “We were able to take our time and work with different groups in Oakland such as the Oakland Business Improvement District and it fits nicely into their master plan,” Massaro says. “There has been very little development period and down at that end there hasn’t been any.  They were excited to inform this project.”

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.