August 21, 2009
Back in 2006, it seemed as if there was an announcement that a real estate company or local building owner was contemplating converting a building to condos (or starting a new building with condominiums) almost every week. In 2008, as the nation moved into the second (or perhaps third) year of the real estate slowdown, the capital crunch put many condo projects on hold. For a while, the news predominately talked about developers unable to find financing, get approval from neighborhood organizations, or looking for buyers for their existing projects. Now, it seems that developers may be stepping back into the real estate market – at least in Pittsburgh.
The latest condo project talk in Pittsburgh is located at One Grandview Avenue atop Mount Washington by Chicago developer Steven Beemsterboer. Discussions are proceeding along the lines of a 100+ hotel room and 50 condo complex at the site of the former Edge Restaurant – you can read more about the proposal at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article here. The development will cost about $80 million to build. Unlike a prior attempt to transform the site in the 1990s, this proposal seems to have community support, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
One Grandview isn’t the only condo project that I have seen proposed recently. Kacin Companies are working on a 34 acre project in Oakmont at the former site of Edgewater Steel. 240 single family home, townhouses, and condominiums are planned. You can read more about it in this Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article or on their website.
Although bank financing for developers may be difficult for some to secure, that doesn’t mean that all sources of funding for downtown condos have dried up. The Post-Gazette had an article back in April about how the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is offering loans to building owners and condo developers to convert empty upper floors of buildings (eight floors or less) to living space (either apartments or condos). The PDP is hoping that the loans will be used to bring moderately priced apartments and condominiums to downtown Pittsburgh. Although the majority of the condos in the downtown Pittsburgh market currently are priced between $300,000 and $1,000,000, the PDP hopes that both owners and the city can win by converting vacant upper floors of low rise buildings into housing units.
July 14, 2008
A condominium development, long slated for prime real estate on top of Mount Washington, is finally moving forward.
Developer Dan DiPardo and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will participate Tuesday in the groundbreaking of Vista Grande, a 11-unit luxury condo project to be built at 501 Grand View Ave., with prices starting at $500,000.
Vista Grande has been in the works for years.
DiPardo and Craig Cozza, who is planning two condo projects READ MORE
June 9, 2008
Royce Karpy had worked in commercial real estate development for a decade for companies such as McDonald’s, 84 Lumber and Armstrong Development, a South Side-based local development company.
On the personal side, Mr. Karpy had always lived in the suburbs and grew up in the Washington County community of Eighty-Four.
So when the opportunity to buy a six-unit apartment building on Grandview Avenue came up three years ago, Mr. Karpy jumped at the chance and bought the turn-of-the-century structure for $430,000, according to Allegheny County property records.
But, Mr. Karpy found being a landlord in the same building he was living in a bit taxing. (The building was transformed into apartments in 1966, prior to that it had been a private residence and at one time served as a medical office.)
“People were always on your doorstep,” said Mr. Karpy, READ MORE
April 24, 2007
Proposal by Charles Betters to be considered for Grandview condos on Mount Washington.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
July 12, 2006
Two condo projects on Grandview in Mount Washington set to start in the Fall.
Source: Pop City Media.