Pittsburgh and the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority are partnering with the Historic Deutschtown Development Corp. to redevelop three vacant buildings on the North Side’s East Ohio Street in a proposed $4.9 million project.
The URA owns properties at 624 and 628 East Ohio St., while the Historic Deutschtown Development Corp. owns the third property at 620 East Ohio St.
The URA and Historic Deutschtown Development Corp. selected the partnership of R. Kyndall Development Group and Fulani Development Group to redevelop the properties, with retail space on the first floors of the properties and office space on second and third floors.
The plan calls for the spaces to be constructed as “vanilla shell,” meaning the walls, flooring, ceilings, lighting and plumbing will be finished to reduce tenants’ costs.
“This redevelopment project will bring new opportunities for retail and office space to the East Ohio Street business corridor, in line with the community’s vision for their neighborhood business district,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.
The URA board was expected to vote at 2 p.m. Tuesday to enter into exclusive negotiations with R. Kyndall and Fulani Development Group for up to six months for the sale of the properties.
This is one of several projects that aim to bring office and retail space, along with residential units, to the business corridor, said Eric Booth, a board member of the East Allegheny Community Council.
This project, he said, is the only one happening in the 600 block of the street, a portion of the road that “needs the most love” and currently is home to several vacant lots.
“The whole idea is to make the whole street nicer, better, a nice place to visit, and to support the business already on the street,” Booth said.
Booth said the properties poised for redevelopment have been vacant for a long time.
“We’re confident that a strong development there will anchor the west end of East Ohio Street and bring more life,” he said.
While several recent developments in the area have focused on housing, Booth said the neighborhood’s housing situation is “in pretty good shape” and it’s time to focus on revitalizing the business district, Booth said.
“I’m excited for the redevelopment of these vacant properties on East Ohio Street,” City Councilman Bobby Wilson said. “This is a substantial investment in one of the great Main Streets in the city of Pittsburgh. Though the construction of I-279 nearly broke the spine of this historic North Side business district, investments like this will help us continue to revitalize East Ohio Street.”