Pitt eyes a grocery retailer for the Oakland property redevelopment plan | Information | Pittsburgh
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The University of Pittsburgh announced on July 26 its plan to convert a lot on Allied Boulevard into a grocery store and apartment for non-students. The property at 3401 Boulevard of the Allies is currently home to a Panera Bread and is the former location of a Quality Inn and Suites.
While Pitt did not provide a timeline for this project, it was based on feedback it received from Oakland residents as part of its institutional master plan that will guide Oakland’s development through 2029. Residents also consistently expressed a desire for a grocery store in Oaklandland as additional housing units.
“The location is a critical link between central Oakland, south Oakland and Oakcliffe, and our neighbors have long wanted non-student housing and a grocery store – along with the removal of the derelict townhouses in Bates – and Pitt manages,” says Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh councilor who represents Oakland. “This is a big step for Oakland.”
After the IGA grocery store on Forbes Avenue closed in April 2017, compounding Oakland’s food wasteland problems, students had to leave the neighborhood to shop at grocery stores like Giant Eagle, Aldi, or Trader Joe’s. When Pitt’s-owned Forbes Street Market opened in October 2018, it offered convenience and bulk foods, fresh meat and seafood, produce, and dry foods to Oakland residents. However, the urban market-style grocery store lacks some basic groceries and has higher prices than grocery stores outside of Oakland.
South Oakland is known for off-campus student dormitories, and Pitt wants the property on Boulevard of the Allies to expand the area’s walkways for faculty, staff, and others who live in the neighborhood.
Pitt will partner with Walnut Capital, selected through a competitive search process, to redesign the website. According to Todd Reidbord, president of Walnut Capital, the real estate development and property management company is interested in converting the location into a first-floor grocery store with apartments.
This will be the latest development from Walnut Capital in Oakland, as well as collaborations with Pitt. Walnut Capital will also receive $ 5.6 million and approximately $ 399,125 in reimbursable expenses from Pitt to demolish the 11 convicted townhouses on the corner of Bates Street and Coltart Avenue. It is also receiving $ 19.5 million for three-quarters of acres on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Halket Streets, where Walnut Capital is building a ten-story innovation research tower. The company also recently completed a $ 25 million rehabilitation of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association clubhouse in Oakland.