Uptown Pittsburgh has worked to become a great neighborhood again after decades of abandonment, demolition, and the increase in parking spaces. Now finally there is real momentum.
Key projects include a development on Lower Hill anchored by the First National Bank headquarters, the proposed Duquesne University medical school, and the UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower on the bluff. A new $ 66 million mixed-use development called Fifth & Dinwiddie, led by Bridging the Gap Development of the Hill District, will further transform a crucial link between the region’s two largest economies, Oakland and Downtown.
Fifth & Dinwiddle will offer 171 apartments – 20% affordable and the rest at market price – along with commercial office space, coworking space for small local businesses and 12,000 square feet for much-needed local retail.
“A coffee shop is definitely planned,” says Derrick Tillman, CEO and President Bridging the Gap. “I would like a bank and a restaurant. Other possible uses are still being explored. “
The project has been in the works for 18 months and is so new it doesn’t have a website yet. But in 2019, Fifth & Dinwiddie was the winning project in a competitive tender by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), which sold the 30 compiled parcels along Fifth Avenue and Dinwiddie Street to Bridging the Gap for $ 2.4 million.
On the east side of Dinwiddie Street, the former Pittsburgh Department of Public Works site (the Mugele Building) is being remodeled, which is 20,000 square feet. A 20,000 square meter extension will add one floor above and new space to the left of the property. The new building will house commercial and retail space.
“And then we do a training program that focuses on clean energy jobs,” says Tillman. “So teaching people how to install solar panels, for example, and explore other clean energy opportunities.”
The west side of Dinwiddie will contain commercial space and 171 residential units in two buildings linked by a skybridge. The URA only stipulated that 10% of the units should be affordable housing, but Bridging the Gap doubled that, Tillman says.
A public square is also planned.
“It’s essentially an outdoor living room,” says Tillman. “Outdoor seating for restaurants and retail, space for outdoor meetings, or just fresh air if you are a building occupant.” He also hopes to host events such as jazz concerts there.
“We are excited about the transformative impact this will have.”
GBBN Architects designed the project. Bridging the Gap strives to meet almost every healthy, sustainable building standard you can find at Fifth & Dinwiddie.
“We’re redefining what it means to have a healthy building,” says Tillman. “Both buildings are Passive House certified, one of the highest standards (for energy efficiency). They have RESET air certification (continuous live air quality monitoring) – breakthrough technology. The project will be Fitwel-certified, which includes healthy living habits such as healthy eating (as well as outdoor areas, bicycle parking spaces and a special room for mothers to reconcile work and private life).
“This is not only a win for Uptown, but also for the city of Pittsburgh and its citizens,” says Tillman. “It’s a national model.”
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