Allegheny County Health Department Site to Bring New Apartments and Offices in Oakland

MWK Forbes LLC is planning to develop apartments and offices at the site of the Allegheny County Health Department in the city’s West Oakland neighborhood.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

MWK Forbes LLC is planning to develop apartments and offices at the site of the Allegheny County Health Department in the city’s West Oakland neighborhood.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the $30 million project would bring a new apartment building of between 120 and 160 units on the Fifth Avenue portion of the property, as well as a new 120,000-square-foot office building that would replace the existing 48,000-square-foot health department building on Forbes Avenue.  

The Allegheny County Council has recently agreed to sell the site of the new developments for $4.9 million. MWK Forbes, which includes the Massaro family and architect Tasso Katselas, expects to close on the acquisition on Feb. 28 and begin demolition of the established structure this summer. Pending further approvals from the city, construction on the apartment building could begin by the end of the year.  

The company initially intended to build a new hotel on the county-owned property. However, Oakland’s strong demand for apartments and a Class A office vacancy rate of less than five percent have led to a change of plans.

“We’ve got so much demand from the apartment side of things that we’re focusing on that where we originally intended to do the hotel,” Gary Wilson, who represents the development team, told the newspaper.  

In other news, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that furniture and housewares retailer West Elm is planning to open its first store in the city in mid-September at Bakery Square, across Penn Avenue from Bakery Square 2.0, currently under construction.

The New York-based retailer has signed a lease to occupy 8,000 square feet of space in Walnut Capital’s Larimer development. Other retailers in the building include Anthropologie and Free People.

West Elm originally intended to open its store at Bakery Square in 2009, but had to postpone its plan because of the recession.

Photo credits:  Google Maps