Pittsburgh Intermodal Rail Terminal
CSX, through its transportation and intermodal terminals subsidiaries, recently announced plans to design and build a new intermodal rail facility in McKees Rocks and Stowe Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The proposed facility will create transportation savings opportunities by giving western Pennsylvania shippers direct intermodal freight rail access, allowing for the shift of long-haul freight from highway to rail and strengthening the transportation infrastructure that serves the region’s economy. The proposed site in McKees Rocks would redevelop an existing brownfield site, the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie (P&LE) Railroad Yard, which operated for more than 100 years. For more information on the Pittsburgh Intermodal Rail Terminal, click here.
DOWNTOWN … Is about to ROCK! McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (CDC) is in the business of Imagining and creating a vision, for a vibrant, compact downtown. The plan is to make the area more appealing, and pedestrian friendly for the citizens who live, work and perhaps play in Mckees Rocks. The CDC vision, in collaboration with Borough officials and business owners, calls for a wide array of restaurant, retail, and dining options. The detail and design recaptures stunning early 20th century architecture. The plan is known as the “Lower Chartiers Main Street Plan”. That plan is nearing completion and will bring forward a blueprint of how we transform our downtown from its current state, to the one that is envisioned by the plan, which will begin to open a future for Mckees Rocks and the people. A critical piece of the puzzle is bringing lower Chartiers back to its traditional-two way traffic flow. Those efforts received an enabling boost when word was received on April 5th that the Borough of McKees Rocks had received a $117,349 grant from PennDOT’s Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) program to install new traffic signals at the two main intersections of the lower Chartiers Avenue business district. Funding for the new traffic signals represents the final hurdle for conversion of lower Chartiers Avenue back to traditional two-way traffic flow. Special thanks go to Senator Wayne Fontana for his persistent advocacy and support throughout the process. With PennDOT, the Borough, and local business owners having approved plans in February, conversion of the downtown ‘Main Street’ to traditional two-way traffic has received the ‘green light’ to proceed.
DRUSKY ENTERTAINMENT JOINS ROXIAN THEATRE DEVELOPMENT As the largest private promoter in the Pittsburgh region, Drusky Entertainment has grown into a powerhouse, presenting over 360 live performances annually over a variety of venues in Southwestern Pennsylvania. What Drusky has lacked, however, is a venue that is a custom fit for its mid-size shows. When Brian Drusky first visited the Roxian in January 2012, he felt he had found a home. That initial meeting has grown into Drusky enthusiastically joining the Roxian team and estimating he could bring over 100 shows to the Theatre annually when completed.
FAÇADE RENOVATIONS TO BEGIN ON THE ROXIAN THEATRE IN JUNE After an extensive nationwide competition to select the project architect and general contractor, the first phase of renovations to the face of Roxian Theater building is ready to begin. “We will start to peel back the layers, and walk back into time, as a first step to bringing this exciting venue back to its original grandeur”, said Taris Vrcek, CDC executive director. Architects Westlake Reed Lesosky of Cleveland, and Mistick Corporation of Pittsburgh will be leading the team performing the work that begins in June. Stay tuned for details.
Roxian Theater (425 Chartiers Avenue) $6M; Open: [TBD]
- Originally opened in 1928, the historic Roxian Theater operated for nearly 80 years as a movie theater and entertainment venue. MRCDC has been spearheading an effort to reposition the Roxian as a concert and performance venue.
- With a capacity of 1,500, the Roxian will fill a void in the Pittsburgh market for a mid-sized concerts.
- Nearly $1M of the projected $5M renovation has been completed. This has enabled MRCDC to acquire the building, complete architectural and engineering work, and complete first phase of renovations.
- MRCDC is currently interviewing candidates for the private development and operation of the Theater.
Facade restoration will begin in Spring 2013. For more information, contact Taris Vrcek at 412-331-9900.
P&LE Complex (McKees Rocks “Flats”) Groundbreaking: Spring 2013 After a decade of effort led by MRCDC, On June 20, 2011, the U.S. EPA announced the launch of the redevelopment of the P&LE Railroad brownfield site in McKees Rocks, Pa. The EPA has provided funding for the environmental assessment of this site – the first step in redeveloping the site for future business investment. Trinity Commercial Development, LLC , the redevelopment contractor for the site, has acquired the parcels necessary to begin redevelopment. The P&LE Railroad brownfield site is a flat, 52-acre property located five miles west of downtown Pittsburgh within the state-designated Ohio River Towns Enterprise Zone and is also in a U.S. EPA environmental justice community. The 461,370 SF proposed development includes rehabilitation of 75,896 SF of existing building space and 385,474 SF of multi-building, new construction. The existing buildings are designed for heavy industrial use. Additional potential uses for the site include wholesale, office, warehouse and manufacturing.
“The borough is excited about the public-private partnership we have formed with Trinity Commercial Development, LLC and the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation to continue the revitalization of the community. We plan on further capitalizing on the redevelopment of the former P&LE Brownfield by marketing our residential areas to the people filling the 1,172 permanent jobs being created as result of this development,” said McKees Rocks Mayor Jack Muhr. For leasing information, contact Craig Rippole at 412-766-4200.
Miles Bryan School (1125 Wayne Avenue) $[TBD]; Open: [TBD] Sitting atop a wooded, 8 acre hilltop, the Miles Bryan School offers one of the most unique opportunities for residential development in the Pittsburgh area. MRCDC is currently seeking a qualified developer for this exciting project. For more information, contact Maribeth Taylor at 412-973-0518 or firstname.lastname@example.org. MRCDC is currently seeking qualified developers for two anchor, mixed use buildings adjacent to Hollowood Music in the heart of the Chartiers Avenue business district. Both were built around 1910, and offer a building layout for first floor restaurant / retail with residential or office uses on upper floors. For more information, contact Taris Vrcek at 412-331-9900 or via email at email@example.com. 597 Chartiers Avenue - 2,400 sq ft Retail, 12,000 Residential/Office 602 Chartiers Avenue - 4,800 sq ft retail, 16,000 Residential/Office Ongoing
Shoppes at Chartiers Crossing (formerly McKees Rocks Plaza) $10M; Open: 2007 For this redevelopment project, MRCDC attracted a quality developer in Trinity Development, Inc., and assisted in bringing to fruition a deal which has led to over $15M in investment to date—without using public dollars. Anchored by Rite Aid, Big Lots, Rocks Pop & Beer, and Jim Crivelli Chevrolet, the Shoppes expanded in March 2009 with the addition of an ALDI foods store. The next phase of development calls for construction of a new 10,000 square foot building. For leasing information, call Craig Rippole at 412-766-4200.
Father Ryan Arts Center (420 Chartiers Avenue) $4.2M; Opened October 2008 Designed by John Baverso Architects, the Father Ryan Arts Center is a state-of-the-art, multi-level facility providing unmatched resources in all facets of artistic education, enrichment and entertainment that aims to serve residents throughout the region. Startup funding for the project began with $800,000 from the Sanders consent decree. The remainder was achieved though grants and donations from local businesses and from the public. Since their grand opening in October of 2008, The FRAC has experienced considerable success. Many people in McKees Rocks and the surrounding communities have come to the FRAC to enhance their artistic ability, to take part in art education sessions and galleries, to watch a performance, to rent out a dance studio or meeting room, and to volunteer. Currently the center has 18 instructors, all professionals in their fields, who conduct the classes and offer their expertise. The ground floor incorporates a café and art gallery as part of the lobby design, The center also features a 125-seat theater, a recording studio, dance and music rehearsal studios. A computer graphics lab and studios for pottery, ceramics and sculpture are also part of the design.
326 Munson Avenue (Dargate Galleries) Opened April, 2011 After working on a number of possible sites in the community, on May 8, 2010, MRCDC successfully brokered a deal for Dargate Galleries, LLC to acquire the former St. Mark’s Church and Rectory properties on Munson Avenue from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church. As a well-known name in the region with a diverse clientele, Dargate is seen as a potential economic catalyst for the Bottoms neighborhood. Commerce Building, 707-712 Chartiers Avenue, May, 2010 Prior to MRCDC’s involvement this building’s tenants included a nuisance bar, barbershop conducting drug trade, and adult film studio. MRCDC attracted a private developer and assembled a deal to transform this building in the heart of Chartiers Avenue into a center of Commerce for the community. Tenants now include Miss Ida’s Daycare, the Dead Horse Music Cantina, and the McKees Rocks Employment Training CEnter.