The Punch List – 8/3/18

Plans to keep Pittsburgh’s riverfront beautiful. The Pittsburgh City Council approved the RIV – new legislation for riverfront zoning. The guidelines for the 35 miles of riverfront include restrictions for height and distance from the river for new constructions. Developers can bypass certain restrictions by offering a public feature, like affordable housing, public parks, or trailsThe new legislation is meant to preserve the rivers, increase pedestrian accessibility, and boost environmental sustainability. The RIV could affect current development plans for Hazelwood Green and 3 Crossings, among others. 

I won’t use the ketchup unless it’s Heinz. Pittsburghers are loyal to the Heinz label, and now we love it even more. The brand announced it will use recyclable, reusable, or compostable packaging for everything from the tiny foil packets to large condiment bottles by 2025. The Pittsburgh-native company is also working to reduce greenhouse gasses along its supply chain. Look for more info in their 2019 corporate responsibility report. 

A timely makeover for Station Square. The once-vibrant Station Square is undergoing a major revitalization, including re-configuring the space and adding new tenants. Most notable: UPMC which will bring their learning and development space to the Freight House building. The restaurants will stay, but most retailers will relocate or close to make space for more restaurants. The $30 million project is projected to wrap up in early 2020.  

Not a park, but a Parklet. A small greenhouse will sit in front of Bae Bae’s Kitchen on Liberty Avenue until the winter, and it has some swanky sustainability features. Rainwater collection barrels, pollution-neutralizing paint, and sensors to monitor stormwater and air quality add to the urban mini-park that only occupies two parallel parking spots. Collected rainwater waters the plants that are also used in the Korean kitchen. The Liberty Ave. Parklet is one of two in Pittsburgh and is part of the Spark program that aims to bring more human activity to sidewalks and support local businesses. 

Once a dreamland for kids, now for developers. Vacant Toys “R” Us locations around the country leave countless opportunities for redevelopment. Four stores in the Pittsburgh area will be auctioned off next weekend. Spaces in the Garfield neighborhood will soon see a lot of redevelopment, and new development as well. The Pittsburgh City Council approved zoning for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to provide more affordable housing in the area, along with provide additional income for families. The use of extra space on homeowners’ properties will allow the second unit to be tied to the same systems like water and sewer lines. 

A UPMC update. The Pittsburgh City Council approved the UPMC Mercy expansion, and Mayor Peduto upholds his stance, but the public is not satisfied. 

Architect and Engineer acquisitions. York, PA-based Buchart Horn Architects bought Pittsburgh firm Celli-Flynn Brennan. Buchart Horn will extend its market to Pittsburgh, keeping the 20 CFB employees in the Burgh. McKim & Creed Company, a large Southern engineering firm, acquired Loftus Engineers, LLC and have not yet released any more details. Loftus was the engineer on projects like 3 Crossings and the recent Carnegie Science Center renovation. 

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