Rendering courtesy of Fly Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh International Airport redevelopment, Moon. Status: holding pattern

The one development on our list outside city limits, Pittsburgh International Airport plans to go from an outmoded hub for long-departed US Airways to an upgraded facility designed for current needs, at a total price tag of $1.1 billion. The existing landside terminal will be demolished, and the people mover will be eliminated.

The groundbreaking was supposed to occur in April, but has been pushed back indefinitely. However, the design team is currently evaluating ideas to adapt to the pandemic, like air quality monitors, voice-activated elevators and contactless delivery of luggage to your home or hotel. Construction has begun on a microgrid with solar power to provide energy for the airport and function completely apart from the electrical grid.

Nearby, the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation campus will also get off the ground in the next few years as part of a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and industry players like Arencibia. The complex will focus on attracting additive manufacturing (3D printing) companies and will include 1.4 million square feet of office and manufacturing space.

The Highline. Photo by Stephan Bontrager of Riverlife.

The Highline, South Side. Status: nearing completion

In 1906, this enormous 868,000-square-foot warehouse complex was built to be the biggest, most efficient shipping hub between New York City and Chicago. Now, it’s being remade into industrial-style office space, with an elevated green space headed toward the river, giving it the name The Highline  (yes, it’s named after the famous elevated railway-turned-park in Manhattan). This has just opened to the public, offering some terrific views of the Liberty Bridge and Downtown Pittsburgh, with another public plaza below on ground level. A retail component is coming along as well, including a bike shop and the Sly Fox Brewing Co., opening this fall. The project’s estimated cost is $100 million. Nearby, the $70 million Glasshouse project has been completed, bringing 320 apartments to a former parking lot near Station Square.


Eye care facility at Mercy Hospital. Rendering courtesy of UPMC.

UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower, Uptown. Status: under construction

Part of a $2 billion investment in citywide hospital construction by UPMC, the Uptown site adjacent to UPMC Mercy will be devoted to ophthalmologic research and vision restoration and rehabilitation. It will be run by José-Alain Sahel, a world-renowned scientist hired from the prestigious Vision Institute in Paris. This 445,000-square-foot building will have parking for 1,100 vehicles, and is on schedule to be completed in December 2022. A heart and transplant hospital in Oakland and a cancer-focused hospital in Shadyside are also planned, but those are still in the design and development phases.

The Strip District Terminal under renovation. Photo by TH Carlisle for NEXTpittsburgh.

The Terminal, Strip District. Status: under construction

It was once the beating heart of the Strip District, when this neighborhood was the region’s main wholesale food distributor. Now, after years of contentious plans and false starts, the vast, five-block Produce Terminal, built in 1926, is being redeveloped by McCaffery Interests. The $62 million mixed-use complex will include office space, restaurants and retail.

Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery Interests, told NEXTpittsburgh that the Terminal will be complete in weeks, but tenant spaces will take a bit longer to build out. Tenants for the 163,500 square feet of commercial space are going to be announced very soon, and McCaffery says that the space is about 40-50% leased. They are pursuing a mix of restaurants, brewpubs and “eatertainment.” A Fine Wine & Good Spirits Premium Collection store was the first to sign on. An initial attempt at a food market on the western end has fallen through, however.

At the eastern end, office space is a possibility for the second floor. The redevelopment includes murals created by Pittsburgh artist Brian Holderman that pay homage to the Strip’s grocers, produce stands and street vendors. Pathways through the building will connect the Strip to the river and riverfront trail in a way that the structure has long prevented.

Across the street, McCaffery is transforming the upper floors of 1600 Smallman into high-tech office space and likely ground-floor retail. So far, this has attracted the self-driving car company Aurora Innovation as the main tenant. The developer recently picked up a nearby plot of land located across the street from St. Stanislaus Kostka Church that will remain parking for the time being.