(PITTSBURGH) Jan. 23, 2013 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that local developer Walnut Capital and its partner at Bakery Square, the RCG Longview Fund, have officially closed on the purchase of the vacant Reizenstein School, making way for the more than $100 million Bakery Square 2.0 development, just across the street from Bakery Square 1.0. The purchase returns the property to the City’s tax rolls after nearly 50 years and allows the developers to begin demolition for Phase 1 of the mixed-use development. Acquisition financing for the purchase and demolition was provided by the Employee Real Estate Construction Trust Funds (ERECT Funds), which is supported by the local building trades unions and provides high quality union construction jobs.
“Bakery Square 2.0 will be another world class development and is expected to create more than 1,200 new jobs and offer amazing office and housing opportunities that will attract new businesses and residents,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.
Bakery Square 2.0 builds off of the success of Bakery Square 1.0, both of which are made possible due to strong support from Mayor Ravenstahl’s administration. A $2 million federal grant, secured by the Mayor and the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), will help prepare infrastructure at the site.
“The success story of Bakery Square is one of a strong public-private partnership that has spurred millions of private investment in and around East Liberty, Larimer and Shadyside - from the opening of Target, to the historic renovation of the Highland Building, to the dozens of new restaurants and retail ventures,” Ravenstahl said.
Across the street, the $100 million Bakery Square 1.0 development established the growing need for quality office and retail space near the bustling “eds and meds” corridor. Bakery Square 1.0 was made possible by $10.5 million in tax increment financing, rehabilitation and new markets tax credits, and other state funds – all encouraged and supported by Mayor Ravenstahl. The development has attracted over $50 million in private investment, grown Pittsburgh’s high-tech economy by providing office space for new and growing tenants such as Google, UPMC Technology Development, Veterans Administration, Pitt and the Software Engineering Institute, created over 1,000 jobs and generates nearly $7 million annually in new taxes.
”What we are most proud of at Bakery Square 2.0 is the continuation of the public-private partnership started at Bakery Square, which permits us to leverage the public investment”, said Todd Reidbord of Walnut Capital. “We are able to accommodate the growth at Bakery Square 2.0 due to forward thinking investments made by Mayor Ravenstahl and supported by the City’s URA.”
Mayor Ravenstahl’s $7 million commitment to reconstruct Penn Avenue from a one- to two-way road resulted in Target’s commitment to open one of a handful urban stores. Last June, the Mayor announced the City’s successful receipt of a $15 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant that will allow for $34 million in public infrastructure improvements to create a new multi-modal transit center in East Liberty.
“As the East End experiences Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance and continues to grow, we are also making sure that multi-modal transit improvements keep pace with this transformation,” Ravenstahl said.
Work for Phase 1 of Bakery Square 2.0 is expected to begin in March and includes the construction of 175 new apartments. This project will provide highly desirable living opportunities for new residents moving here for the medical and high technology jobs at Bakery Square and surrounding developments.
About the Project
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687