An artist's rendering of a proposed apartment building, with car storage system. The proposal by NEXT architecture won City Planning Commission approval on Nov. 1, 2022.
An artist's rendering of a proposed apartment building, with car storage system, slated for the 2900 block of Smallman Street in the Strip District. The proposal by NEXT architecture won City Planning Commission approval on Nov. 1, 2022.

The steady march of construction continues in the Strip District, with the City Planning Commission approving two new mixed-use residential projects on Tuesday. The approvals under Mayor Ed Gainey’s 10-month-old administration suggest that a building boom nurtured under predecessor Bill Peduto will continue.

The two sites, one on Smallman Street and the other on 26th Street, won unanimous approval from the commissioners after the final plans were presented. Commissioner Rachel O’Neill noted that the Smallman Street project was unusual for including a space-saving parking rotary lift, where 14 cars will be stacked in each of three separate stackers.

The Smallman Street site will also have 17 regular parking spaces. In total, the building will have 89 apartment units spread across eight floors along with a rooftop lounge area. The ground floor will also have space for a restaurant. 

The site designers from NEXT architecture also claim that the design is “rooted in sound environmental design practices” by, among other things, reducing stormwater runoff. The site will try to absorb stormwater through the planting of trees and an underground facility that will hold around 610 cubic feet of water. 

The 26th Street project calls for the demolition of a building on the one-acre site and then the construction of  179 residential units including 18 affordable units. Like much of the area, the site was previously industrial. 

While the public was invited to be heard, no speakers emerged and the commissioners expressed no significant concerns about the proposals.
Eric Jankiewicz is PublicSource’s economic development reporter, and can be reached at ericj@publicsource.org or on Twitter @ericjankiewicz.

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Eric Jankiewicz

Eric Jankiewicz is a reporter focused on housing and economic development for PublicSource. A native New Yorker, Eric moved to Pittsburgh in 2017 and has since fallen in love with his adopted city, even...