Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today was joined by City Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess, representatives from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), key stakeholders, and members of the community to officially break ground for Liberty Park Phase II, a new, 71-unit rental housing development along Collins Ave. in East Liberty.
“We’re excited to kick off the next phase of the redevelopment for the former Liberty Park site, which represents another step forward for the ongoing revitalization of the East Liberty neighborhood,” said Ravenstahl. “Everyone should have access to safe and affordable housing opportunities. Liberty Park II will offer the chance for residents who were temporarily relocated to return to their neighborhood of East Liberty, and to enjoy new, modern conveniences.”
Phase I, called the Fairfield Apartments, completed in 2007, consists of 124 mixed-income rental units and is fully occupied. Many of these units are home to residents who were relocated as a result of the closures of the East Liberty high-rises.
This development is located on the site of the former functionally obsolete Liberty Park high-rise. Also located on the site of the former Penn Circle high-rise is the new East Liberty Target, a $46 million development, which will provide more than 250 permanent jobs to the East Liberty area. The URA assisted the developer in attracting Target by supporting site preparation efforts and implementing the financing for the Penn Circle Two-Way Conversion project. The $5 million conversion includes streetscape, sidewalk, and other crosswalk improvements that will improve the parking, pedestrian, and public transportation of the corridor.
A. Liberoni, Inc. has been hired to complete the public improvement work associated with the site, which includes the extension and connection of Kalida Drive and Princeton Place, new utilities (water line, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and water and sewer services), and street lighting. SAI Consulting Engineers, Inc. will provide construction management services. Developers are McCormack Baron Salazar in collaboration with East Liberty Development, Inc.
Site preparation for Liberty Park II has begun, and construction of the buildings is expected to start in late spring 2011. Total cost of the URA-funded project is $15.7 million. Funding includes $6.4 million of public sources, such as the Pittsburgh Development Fund (PDF), PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), HOME funds, and HUD Upfront Grant funds.