The former Croatian Federal Union of America building at 3441 Forbes Ave., in an image provided to the City Planning Commission on July 27, 2021. The University of Pittsburgh seeks to demolish it, but then to rebuild the historic facade.

Develop PGH Bulletins: Pitt brings case for Oakland building’s demolition to commission

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 7/27/21: Facade of former Croatian Federal Union building could be preserved, reused
The University of Pittsburgh’s plans to tear down a longstanding Forbes Avenue building drew no objections from the City Planning Commission at an initial briefing ahead of a hearing and likely September vote. Pitt wants to demolish the former Croatian Federal Union of America building, at 3441 Forbes Avenue. From 1963 on, the building served as the Allegheny County Health Department’s headquarters.

Episode 12, Season 2: Communal land and ownership — A conversation with Pittsburgh affordable housing advocates

Crystal Jennings and Ed Nusser represent City of Bridges Community Land Trust. They believe building permanent affordable housing and increasing community control through homeownership is a way to address displacement and development throughout changing neighborhood housing markets in Pittsburgh. Jourdan: Hello, everybody, welcome back to Episode 12. From the Source, it's Jourdan again, we're back this week talking about community land trusts. Now, for those of you who have been with PublicSource for a while, we've been covering the affordable housing movement for the last few years.

An artist's rendering of a proposed apartment building that developer SomeraRoad wants to build near the Three Rivers Heritage Trail at the Southside Works, submitted to the City Planning Commission for its meeting on June 15, 2021.

June 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Planning Commission approves South Side apartments

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 6/29/21: Planning Commission approves new South Side apartments
The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved the construction of a new 246-unit apartment building in the Southside Works complex, adjacent to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and South Side Marina. 

New York City- and Nashville-based developer SomeraRoad, which has been behind the redevelopment of the Southside Works complex, presented its plan for the 1.8 acre Southside Works Waterfront Apartments on June 15. Some commissioners initially expressed concerns that the structure, which would border a stretch of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, could narrow a path where bicyclists and pedestrians already compete for space. SomeraRoad emphasized the inclusion of a landscape buffer between the proposed seven-story structure and the trail.

Members of the Urban Redevelopment Authority board, URA staff and members of the Buccini/Pollin Group development team discuss proposals for an office tower on the Lower Hill District, as they view an artists rendering during a May 26, 2021 board briefing conducted by Zoom. (Screenshot)

May 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Majority of developer-heavy committee supports transfer of Hill land to Penguins’ team

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 5/26/21: URA hears views of panel on FNB Tower, amid concern over conflicts
Most members of an oversight committee now support the Penguins’ plans to build on the former Civic Arena site, but some Hill District voices questioned the impartiality of that panel in public comments made at an Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA] board briefing. The Penguins and their chosen developer, Buccini/Pollin Group [BPG], want the URA and the Sports & Exhibition Authority boards to vote, on June 10, to transfer to them ownership of around 2.5 acres of Hill District land for a 26-story office tower and community open space. In Wednesday’s non-voting meeting, the URA board heard from several members of the Executive Management Committee [EMC].

Mary Ellen Barber said she has been searching for a suitable apartment in the North Hills, for which the landlord would accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher as partial payment, but hasn't been able to find one. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

April 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Housing authorities get help for families hoping to move out of impoverished areas

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other agencies. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 4/30/21: Low-income families to get help finding rentals in well-off neighborhoods
The region's two largest public housing authorities have won nearly $4.1 million in federal funds to help families with housing choice (Section 8) vouchers to move to neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty and more opportunity. The Allegheny County Housing Authority and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will share $4,089,540 and also get a total of 74 additional vouchers, each of which allows a low-income household to rent housing and pay the landlord 30% of their income, with the government covering the rest. Leaders of the authorities said in September that they wanted to use federal funding to recruit new landlords to their voucher programs, ease the apartment hunting and moving processes for families with children, and cover counseling and other measures to help those families to get acclimated to new neighborhoods.

The family of Jasmine Devine (third from left) including daughters (from left) Jah'Niya, Erionna and Nylah, plus Mary Hester (rear) of LifeVenture Real Estate Services, and Brettney Duck (far right) of Catapult Greater Pittsburgh, walk through Enright Court on March 30, 2021. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

An East Liberty enclave faces change, but this time residents can set down roots

The Devines are only moving one block. But for Jasmine and her three daughters, the impending relocation within a little square called Enright Court is a big jump, and not just because they’ll have a fourth bedroom, plus a bigger yard. They’ll finally own a townhouse, rather than renting. With that, they’ll be gaining some control over their destinies in East Liberty, a neighborhood where demolitions and rising rents have torn many families out by the roots. “I’m building a legacy for them,” said Devine, 32, as she stood in her current driveway with her eldest daughter, Jah’Niya, 13.

A map showing the area in which October Development is seeking to take on conservatorship of 97 properties, taken from the company's petition filed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

March 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: ‘Hostile takeover’ or ‘best practice’? Attorney explains massive North Side conservatorship bid

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including close coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other important agencies. Please check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 03/30/21: Attorney explains bid for conservatorship of 97 properties
A former City of Pittsburgh attorney who has filed an ambitious conservatorship petition said that it was driven by a developer’s desire to improve a neglected part of the North Side amid slow progress by a community group and government officials. Dan Friedson, who was an assistant city solicitor from 2014 through late 2019, filed a March 5 petition on behalf of East Allegheny-based October Development, seeking conservatorship over 97 properties in and around that neighborhood. Of the properties, 29 are owned by the city, two by the Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA], eight by the Community Association of Spring Garden and East Deutschtown [CASGED] and the rest by an assortment of individuals and apparent businesses or nonprofit entities.