6. Cork Factory Apartments, 2349 Railroad St., Strip District

Price: $1,710 for a one-bedroom, to $4,250 for three-bedroom, two-bath unit.

Good for: Strip District living for the fitness and outdoor enthusiast and pet lover. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is just steps away from the building.

Description: The rental lofts are housed in the former Armstrong Cork Factory, built in 1901 and designed by noted architect Frederick J. Osterling. The seven-story building today features 297 units with a fitness center, pool, community room with a television, library and gaming tables, and a courtyard with gas grills and a fire pit. The community room has weekly gatherings and events. Coffee and reading materials are available each morning. Garage parking is available for a monthly fee, and up to two pets — dogs or cats — are permitted for a fee. Amenities include dry cleaning, laundry and a pet washing station.

Style: Exposed brick walls, ceilings up to 17 feet high, concrete floors, stainless steel appliances in kitchen, granite countertops and walk-in closets. Some units feature a den and a private patio or balcony.

7. Brew House Lofts, 711 South 21st St., South Side

Price: $668 to $961 per month including utilities for people with an income of $20,000 to $29,000 annually. Market rates range from $800 to $2,510, depending on the size of the unit. Residents in the market-rate units are responsible for utilities. Studios as well as one- and two-bedroom units are available.

Good for: Artists of all disciplines — musicians, painters, sculptors, tattoo artists, and more. Artists receive occupancy preference.

Description: What? A living space named after beer? These 76-units now exist on the site of the former Duquesne Brewery, which was built in the early 20th century and functioned as a brewhouse until 1972 when, after weathering Prohibition and World War II, it closed. Today there’s a rooftop deck, laundry facility, fitness center and several studio spaces. No smoking. A maximum of two pets are permitted per unit.

Style: You’ll find industrial-style, flexible space in several units, high ceilings, large windows and a gallery in the building.

The Brew House on the South Side of Pittsburgh is one example of a mixed-income development financed by a private developer. Photo courtesy of the TREK Development Group.

8. 947 Liberty Avenue Lofts, Downtown

Price: $1,250 per month plus utilities for a studio with a sleeping loft. 

Good for: Those who don’t wish to buy but who want a completely immersive Downtown experience in the Penn-Liberty Historic District.

Style: Sleeping lofts, storage space, bathrooms and laundry areas are together, leaving the rest of the living space open. There also are stainless steel kitchens and polished concrete floors.

Description: This small and sleek building on a narrow lot (18 feet) was designed by Dutch MacDonald and built more than a decade ago by developer Eve Picker, a pioneer in loft spaces and Downtown living. In 2009,  Dwell magazine called the project “a glowing example of the urban renaissance that’s gripping Steel City.” Behind the steel-and-glass facade, you’ll find three units and a first-floor storefront in a building that is set back 20 feet, peeking out between two brick walls. Most people know it by the three 15-foot sculptures of musicians, created by local artist James Simon, which are installed in front of the building.

A view of Liberty Lofts. Photo courtesy of Eve Picker.

9. Fifth Avenue School Lofts, 1800 Fifth Ave., Uptown

Price: $750 for a studio to $2,950 for a two- or three-bedroom with a mezzanine.

Good for: Those seeking a larger living space in a historic building converted for modern living.

Description: Built in the late 1800s, the building was once Fifth Avenue High School and a hub for city students. The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation purchased it in the 1970s, and it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grand main hall has been restored. Today, there’s also a fitness room, bicycle storage and secure entry, and multi-level parking. Cats and dogs are permitted for an extra fee.

Style: The building’s 65 units have large, open floor plans (most units are 1,000 to 2,000 square feet) with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, new windows with historic transoms, high ceilings, floating stainless steel stairs, “green” insulation in the walls and central air.

Photo courtesy Fifth Avenue School Lofts.

10. First Avenue Lofts, 422 First Ave., Downtown

Price: About $1,200 to $1,795 monthly for one- and two-bedroom units.

Good for: Those who don’t like to travel far for a good drink.

Style: Stainless steel appliances and exposed brick; many units have sweeping views of the city. 

Description: This building features 35 units in the former Graphic Arts Color Corp. space, which was built circa 1910. There’s an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar, kitchen and fitness center. Dogs and cats are permitted. On-site parking is available for $150/month. Soon, local craft beer will be just few steps away: Penn Brewery is set to open a satellite taproom on the ground floor of the building.

Kitchen in a First Avenue Loft unit. Photo courtesy of Todd Palcic.

 




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About The Author

Editor and writer

Kimberly Palmiero is an independent journalist and business owner. She spent 25 years working for media companies in Pennsylvania and Illinois, most of that time as an editor on news desks. She left Trib Total Media in 2016 as a managing editor. A passionate journalist, she also is board president of the nonprofit Press Club of Western Pennsylvania (westernpapresclub.org). In 2009, she founded a small business which acquires, refurbishes and rents residential property. She enjoys running through city neighborhoods just after dawn. She may or may not cap off runs by drinking several espressos She lives on the North Side.

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