Redevelopment Authority Sells Fifth and Forbes Lots to Millcraft for $2.43M

By Liviu Oltean, Associate Editor The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has voted and agreed to sell seven lots near Forbes Avenue to Millcraft Industries. The 37,000-square-foot tracts were sold to the Washington-based company for $2.43 million. The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that [...]

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has voted and agreed to sell seven lots near Forbes Avenue to Millcraft Industries.

The 37,000-square-foot tracts were sold to the Washington-based company for $2.43 million. The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the acquisition has strengthened Millcraft’s commitment to developing The Gardens, a $76.6 million mixed-use project.

The project entails the development of about 95,000 square feet of office space, a 176-room limited service hotel, 25,000 square feet of retail space on two levels and 300 parking spaces. The redevelopment will replace a few buildings owned by URA, which are currently occupied by small businesses.

Brian Walker, CFO of Millcraft, said that the company has already found prospective clients for about 80 percent of the available office space. Seeing so much interested in the project, he added, is a sign that the company and the city are heading in a good direction.

In the first phase of construction, set to begin as soon as the company finishes the redevelopment of the former state office building, Millcraft will focus on constructing office space and on adding the required parking spaces. In the second phase, set to begin in 2014, Millcraft will develop the hotel.

Yarone Zober, board chair of the URA and the chief staff of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, commended Walker for his initiatives, which have led to the revitalization of the Fifth and Forbes business district. In addition, in order to facilitate a funding deficit of more than $13 million, URA might establish a Tax Increment Financing district, but details of this initiative haven’t been established.