Taking a stroll through downtown Pittsburgh is quite a different experience than it was just a few years ago. The city has made great strives in revitalizing the downtown experience. This coupled with demand for city living has added to the urban residential development of Pittsburgh and its surrounding neighborhoods.
Pittsburgh residents moved out to the north and south hills in the 1960′s and until now, fought the commute to and from downtown through their respective bridges and tunnels. With the recent cleanup of the city’s downtown areas, Pittsburghers are wishing to migrate back to downtown. This makes downtown construction a hot topic throughout Pittsburgh, with residential and commercial properties under construction quite frequently. “There’s been a good influx of people wanting to move to city dwelling,” said Phil Ford, vice president of business development at a Ross-based construction company.
Some of these building projects come in the form of brand new facilities, but many developers are converting pre-existing buildings into residential rental properties and luxury loft apartments. Construction companies and developers are using creative methods to convert old churches, grade schools, and warehouses into apartments that are selling like hot cakes. Areas of the city such as Lawrenceville are experiencing a revitalization and general contractors throughout Pittsburgh are building new apartments in the hip neighborhood. Other areas of Pittsburgh that have seen similar rebuilding are Downtown, South Side, East End, and North Side. Some of these neighborhoods are quickly becoming the place to be for the young, hip, city-dweller.
According to the City Bureau of Building Inspection, construction costs for the 20 apartment building permits issued in the city of Pittsburgh between January 2012 and June 2013 could top $47 million. Developers added more than 2,000 residential living units to the city since 2000, according to Integra Realty Resources Pittsburgh. More than half of that number are currently under construction and an estimated 2,330 more units have been proposed for future construction. “There are projects in the pipeline, and there is a lot of demand,” said Yarone Zober, chair of the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The boom is expected to peak in 2014-15 with the heyday of downtown Pittsburgh lasting for years.