Economy
8:40 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Bakery Square Expansion Moving Forward

The successful office and retail development of Bakery Square in Larimer is on track to gain more property and add buildings.

After a special zoning proposal for "Bakery Square 2.0" drew no opposition at a public hearing before Pittsburgh City Council on Monday, the legislation will come before council on Wednesday for a preliminary vote.

If the special zoning is approved, developer Walnut Capital could demolish the former Reizenstein Middle School in January to make way for new construction across the street from the current Bakery Square site on Penn Avenue.

"We hope to get started with an apartment building first and hopefully an office building," said Walnut Capital President Todd Reidbord.

Reidbord said the $119 million project would be phased in over the next three to five years, with Walnut going back to the City Planning Commission each time it hopes to build a new structure. In the end, Reidbord said there would be 400,000 square feet of new office space, with plenty of residential options also spaced across the 12-acre property.

"There'll be about 350 apartment units, ranging in size from small studios to two- to three-bedroom apartments," said Reidbord. "There will be about 50 or so townhomes, which will give people an opportunity to have a little bit larger living environment."

Reidbord said his company thought it was important to expand the Bakery Square "brand" to include residential space as well as offices and retailers. Walnut Capital is purchasing the Reizenstein property for $5.4 million from the Pittsburgh Public School District.

He said the former school grounds would also feature green space with pathways for bikes and pedestrians.

Current tenants of Bakery Square include Google, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The project converted the former Nabisco factory on Penn Avenue into a mixed-use site now featuring offices, retailers, a fitness center and a hotel.