At nearly five city blocks long, the Pennsylvania Fruit and Auction, known to locals as the Produce Terminal, is hard to miss. It sits along Smallman Street between 16th and 20th and seems to watch over the business on Penn Avenue.
The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board voted Thursday on a proposal to revitalize the Strip District produce terminal. We’ll learn about the results of the meeting and what this will mean for the future of the area from Kevin Acklin, URA board chairman and Mayor Peduto’s chief of staff.
The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh Thursday voted to terminate a contract with the Buncher Company for possible redevelopment of the Produce Terminal in the Strip District. The URA then voted to negotiate with two separate entities over the next 90 days about possible development.
When Michael Rubino envisions the future of the Strip District, he sees a grand marketplace at the site of the old Pennsylvania Fruit Auction and Sales building, with a farmer’s market, restaurants, business incubators, Amish craftspeople and closeout vendors.
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross’s controversial bill to designate the Strip District’s Fruit Auction & Sales Building as a historic structure was voted down in a committee meeting today.
Ahead of the vote, Gross made her case for the building one final time.
“It really makes the Strip District, the Strip District. It’s a defining location,” said Gross. “If you’re talking about where to meet, where to park, where to go. When you picture the Strip District in your mind, you see this building in your mind’s eye.”
A vote on whether the Strip District’s Fruit Auction and Sales Building should be designated as a historic structure will be delayed another week.
Council’s newest member, Deb Gross, represents the Strip District, and is in favor of preserving the building to the fullest extent possible.
“Having said the word 'preserve,' everyone understands that some modifications are going to be needed to that property in order for it to achieve a positive function in the Strip District and a positive function in the business mix,” Gross said.