Real Estate Development
Squirrel Hill Gateway Lofts
2607 Murray Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Status: Predevelopment; construction start in May 2017
Program: 33 units of affordable housing, half with a preference for individuals with intellectual disabilities, Two floors of commercial space
Total Development Cost: $16.3M
Funding Partners: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, BNY Mellon, National Equity Fund, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, Jewish Residential Services
Community Partners: Jewish Residential Services, Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Development Team: 4080 Architecture, Mosites Construction, Iams Consulting, Morris Knowles
ACTION-Housing Inc. plans to build a new six-story building at the site of a derelict vacant lot in Squirrel Hill, one of Pittsburgh strongest communities. The Squirrel Hill Gateway Lofts is a Supportive Housing development comprised of 33 units, half of which will have a preference for those with intellectual and/or mental health disabilities; the other half will be for general occupancy. The first two floors will be developed for Jewish Residential Services (JRS) to operate an expanded Howard Levin Club house and relocate its administrative offices. By having the Ira Levin Clubhouse and JRS administrative offices on the first and second floor, the service component for our residents will be readily available, helping to eliminate the sense of isolation that special needs individuals may have when they live in scattered site housing. General occupancy units are designed as work-force housing for those income eligible individuals who work in the area and who have few options for decent apartments.
This unique project will eradicate blight, bring income diversity to an extremely desirable neighborhood, create much needed supportive and affordable housing and catalyze thoughtful development of a highly visible gateway location.
David Wright Apartments
1842 Washington Street, Heidelberg, PA 15106
Date Completed: December 2016
Program: 42 Units of affordable housing, half with a preference for clients on the autism spectrum
Total Development Cost: $13,337,033
Funding Partners: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, PNC Bank, Allegheny County Economic Development, Northwest Savings Bank
Community Partners: Autism Housing Development Corporation of Pittsburgh
Development Team: RSH Architects, Repal Construction, Morris Knowles & Associates, Inc.
The David Wright Apartments, completed in December of 2016, is located on Washington Street at the site of the former Wright's Seafood Inn. The newly constructed building includes 42 one and two bedroom units, half with a preference for clients on the autism spectrum. The first floor has a community room for movie nights and other events, a quiet lounge, an exercise room and offices for NHS Human Services, which will have employees working there 25 to 40 hours per week to help tenants.
In the words of one of our residents, Elise Mote, this building "will give people like me, on the autism spectrum, the chance to live and make friends." Her mother, Beverly Mote, described the new apartments as "life-changing."
Spinning Plate Artist Lofts
5815 Baum Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Status: Construction Start: Spring 2017
Program: Renovations and upgrades to building with 37 units of affordable housing with a preference for artists
Total Development Cost: $1.3M
Funding Partners: Bridgeway Capital, Urban Redevlopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Community Partners: Artists and Cities Development Corporation
Development Team: Iams Consulting, Climatech Inc
The Spinning Plate Artist Lofts opened in 1998 as a 37-unit live-work residential building with a preference for artists. The development, funded through low-income housing and historic tax credits, converted an old historic auto dealership into much-needed housing for local artists. The building features large units with high ceilings, open floor plans, and large windows. The first floor includes a spacious first-floor gallery available for all residents to showcase their work.
Now in its 19th year of tax credit compliance, the Spinning Plate is undergoing critical upgrades and improvements. The $1.3 million project includes the installation of a central air conditioning system and replacement of the domestic hot water boiler system, replacement of the roof and selected plumbing fixtures, and lighting upgrades to the gallery and public spaces. The improvements will also include substantial exterior masonry work and selective interior painting as well as additional general building maintenance.
The project is located in East Liberty, a neighborhood at the epicenter of Pittsburgh’s redevelopment. The location is well served by a wide variety of transit options and is close to one of the largest shopping districts in the region. The preservation of the Spinning Plate Artist Lofts provides critical affordable housing in an area experiencing some of the most rapidly increasing housing prices in the region.
Forest Hills Veterans Housing
1844 Ardmore Blvd, Forest Hills, PA 15221
Status: Construction Start: Spring 2017
Program: 41 units of affordable housing, 21 with a preference for veterans, 20 with a preference for seniors
Total Development Cost: $13.4M
Funding Partners: Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, BNY Mellon, National Equity Fund, Allegheny County Economic Development
Community Partners: Forest Hills CDC, Veterans Leadership Program
Development Team: RSH Architects, Nelcon Inc., Iams Consulting, Morris Knowles & Associates, Inc.
Forest Hills Veterans Housing, located on Ardmore Boulevard in Forest Hills, is one of ACTION-Housing’s most recent developments. The project, currently in the design-development stage, will involve the adaptive reuse of a vacant and abandoned building and the construction of a two-story addition to create 41 units of affordable housing. Twenty-one of the units will have a preference for veterans and twenty will have a preference for seniors. Six units will be fully accessible, including two units for hearing and vision impaired individuals.
Amenities in the building include a community room with a large outdoor patio for use by all residents, laundry facilities on each floor, and dedicated offices for both management and supportive services. The development will provide critical housing and supportive services while taking advantage of its location in an area of opportunity that offers a wide range of amenities and services to all residents.
The project is located along Ardmore Boulevard at a catalytic location at the gateway to the Borough of Forest Hills.
Spahr Building - 4847 Second Avenue, 15207
La Gourmandine - 5013 Second Avenue, 15207
Date Completed: January 2017
Program: Renovation of two vacant commercial buildings in Hazelwood's commercial core
Total Development Cost: $4.5M
Funding Partners: Historic Tax Credits, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Dollar Bank, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, Heinz Endowments, Hillman Foundation, Bridgeway Capital
Community Partners: Hazelwood Initiative
Development Team: mossArchitects, 4080 Architecture, Nelcon Construction, Iams Consulting, Langan Engineering
ACTION’S work on Second Avenue has been focused on renovating existing commercial structures with the goal of revitalizing the neighborhood’s historic main street. The Hazelwood Second Avenue project includes the renovation of two formerly vacant, blighted structures. The first is a historic four story brick building, constructed in 1911 as a hall for the Oddfellows. The building has been brought back to its original historic beauty and will house the commissary for the Pittsburgh Community Kitchen with the goal of eventually having a community restaurant. PCK will undertake job training in the space, preparing participants for employment in the fast-growing Pittsburgh culinary industry.
The second renovation is the vacant D’Imperio’s market, which has been transformed into a 6,000 SF production space for La Gourmandine bakery. The bakery will create job opportunities in the neighborhood and have a small café for community residents. Above the bakery are two affordable apartments.