Moving From Planning To Action In EcoInnovation District Site

Mar 5, 2018

Developers will soon be asked to propose projects for a site in Pittsburgh’s EcoInnovation District, which covers Uptown and West Oakland. The 1.8-acre parcel at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Dinwiddie Street is owned by the city and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

It’s the first project for which a request for proposals will be issued under the recently adopted neighborhood plan, said Project Manager Derek Dauphin.

“So [residents] wanted to see neighborhood-serving amenities. Pharmacy was very common, daycare was fairly common. Somewhere on the site people wanted to see kitchen space of some sort, whether that’s in a restaurant or an incubator kitchen.”

The EcoInnovation District plan has been two years in the making. The city’s goal is to create resident-driven development that is sustainable and good for everyone.

Because the site at Fifth and Dinwiddie is publicly owned, it’s a great way to see the comprehensive neighborhood plan and new zoning code in action, said Dauphin.

“But the goal is that we’re setting a sort of a precedent here for how we could be doing these projects elsewhere in the city, too,” he said. “Collaboration between City Planning and the URA on how to run public process around these large sites that are really pivotal to these communities and that they care a lot about.”

Residents have stressed their desire to see open space in the EcoInnovation District as well as retail and office space that would serve the neighborhood.

A request for proposals to develop the site is expected to be released this year by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.