A change in plans: Strip District produce terminal to focus on retail, office space

A Chicago developer has overhauled its plan for the city’s historic produce terminal, replacing much of the housing that had been proposed with offices and retail and an anchor “that will focus on food.”

After months of consultations with city leaders, local foundations and others, Dan McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery Interests, said he is excited about the new proposal that is emerging for the redevelopment of the Strip District landmark. “In many ways, it stands the chance to be the crown jewel of the whole area,” he said.

Mr. McCaffery hopes to be in a position to make a “go or no-go announcement” on the redevelopment and present the formal plan to the public within the next 60 days.

Since July, the developer has been working with Pittsburgh Gateways Corp. on a new plan to redevelop the 1,533-foot-long Smallman Street warehouse, a former hub for produce wholesalers now largely vacant.

The city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, which owns the building, brought in Pittsburgh Gateways to work with McCaffery Interests after cutting ties with Pittsburgh developer Rubino Partners. Rubino had been selected along with McCaffery in September 2014 to cobble together a plan for the terminal, one built around housing and a marketplace.

But the two never met, and the URA then turned to Pittsburgh Gateways, the nonprofit economic development group behind the redevelopment of the former Connelley Trade School in the Hill District, for help.

Mr. McCaffery said the new mixed-use development will be a “smattering of everything,” with “sensible office space, sensible retail space” and parking as well as a “much, much improved streetscape” on Smallman Street.

Read Full Article – By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette