Walnut Capital Partners Plans Apartment and Retail Project in East Liberty

More apartments and retail space could be rising in the heart of the city’s East Liberty neighborhood.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

More apartments and retail space could be rising in the heart of the city’s East Liberty neighborhood.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Walnut Capital Partners is planning to purchase three Penn Avenue properties from East Liberty Development Inc. (ELDI) and convert them into 16,000 square feet of retail space and 55 apartments. Construction on the project is expected to begin towards the end of the year, Gregg Perelman, managing partner of Walnut Capital Partners, told the newspaper.

The site of the proposed development is located near the company’s Walnut on Highland apartment community, which has been completely occupied since the beginning of the year. The property includes a 183-space garage, part of which Walnut could make use of to attract tenants for the new complex.

Former plans for this well-located site at the corner of Penn and Highland avenues involved the construction of a five-screen movie theater, along with apartments. Called the Odeon, the project was a joint venture of ELDI and Blasier Urban.

In other news, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has received the 2014 Global Best Project Award in the green project category from Engineering News-Record (ENR) for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) in Pittsburgh.

Open since 2012, the center aims to become one of the world’s first certified living buildings. The facility has been designed to achieve net-zero energy consumption through the use of solar photovoltaics and solar hot water collectors, geothermal wells, a vertical axis wind turbine, as well as passive cooling, heating and lighting methods. Other green features include a lagoon, a water distillation system, rain gardens and constructed wetlands.

“The CSL was created to serve as a global model for how people everywhere can work together with nature to make our communities healthier, safer and more supportive of all life,” Phipps Executive Director Richard Piacentini said in prepared remarks.

The awards will be presented next month at the ENR 2014 Global Construction Summit in New York.

Photo credits: phipps.conservatory.org