The Ravensthal administration wants to sell one of city government's signature Downtown properties -- the John C. Robin Civic Building at 200 Ross Street -- to a private developer.
The city and URA is seeking redevelopment proposals from the site, and plans to move URA, city and Housing Authority offices out of the 13-story building within two years. It is the former home of J&L Steel and currently hosts zoning and planning commisison meetings, among other things.
From the mayor: "There are several development scenarios where the sale of the building yields a higher and better return on the public's investment than in its current nontaxable use," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "We want to put it out in the marketplace to see if there is interest from developers."
Story from the PG's Joe Smydo here.
Full news release after the jump:
(PITTSBURGH) April 28 The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), in conjunction with City of Pittsburgh and Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP), today issued a Request for
Qualifications (RFQ) for the sale and redevelopment of the Civic Building at 200 Ross Street in
downtown Pittsburgh. Built in the early 1900s, the 13-story office building is owned by a
partnership between the URA, City and HACP.
"The URA's mission is to create economic development opportunities throughout the City and
when considering buildings prime for redevelopment, we realized that our very own location at 200
Ross Street could be a viable economic development opportunity," said Rob Stephany, executive
The goal is to obtain a high quality and creative development strategy for the building.
"There are several development scenarios where the sale of the building yields a higher and better
return on the public's investment than in its current nontaxable use," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
"We want to put it out in the marketplace to see if there is interest from developers."
"The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh looks forward to working with the URA and the City on a project that will be beneficial to City residents," said HACP Executive Director A. Fulton
Meachem, Jr. "HACP views this as an opportunity to maximize the impact we can have in
generating economic activity and pursuing our mission to the benefit of Pittsburgh communities."
The preferred reuse is office, residential or hotel. Currently, there is a surface lot located behind
the building solely owned by the URA and privately managed.
The building is for sale only and will be sold in as-is condition. No sale for leaseback proposals will
be considered. The building will be fully vacant at the time of transfer of title. In order to be
considered, proposals must be for the redevelopment of the building. Proposals that are
exclusively for the redevelopment of the parking lot and not for purchase and redevelopment of the
building will not be considered. In addition, proposals for relocation strategies will not be
A development selection committee, comprised of representatives from each partner agency, will
vet the proposals and make a recommendation. All three bodies will have to approve the sale of
their portion of the property. The building is currently appraised at $1,890,000.
If an appropriate project develops, everyone housed in 200 Ross Street, including URA staff,
HACP staff, and City staff, will move to a new location.
"We are only at the beginning of the process," said Ravenstahl. "At this point, we are at least two
years away from moving, and that is only if we are able to sell the building for redevelopment. As
this process moves forward we will keep everyone at 200 Ross in the loop and take steps to
ensure the easiest transition for all employees."
To date, the partners have not selected a relocation site.
"Our goal, when we relocate, is to be part of a redevelopment project - the redevelopment of a
building or a community - but we do not have a project or location identified because we don't
know what will be available when, and if, we move," said Stephany. "Should a viable development
project materialize via our RFQ process, then and only then will we start to vet the important
criteria for relocation."
The RFQ can be found on the URA's website at www.ura.org. Deadline for submissions is Friday,
June 17, 2011, at noon.