It may be winter, but that doesn’t mean that construction and rearranging of departments has come to a stop.
Where will LRDC go?
It now looks like the people from the Learning Research and Development Center will be relocating to the new Murdoch Building on the corner of Forbes Avenue and Coltart Street, according to Scott. The LRDC building on O’Hara Street is expected to meet the wrecking ball later this year, along with the O’Hara Garage, to make way for a new Recreation and Wellness Center. Last summer, the Board of Trustees Property and Facilities Committee approved leasing the fifth and sixth floors of the former Pittsburgh Athletic Association building starting in June of this year. The lease would have been for 15 years at an annual rent of $1.2 million. In December, the Post-Gazette reported that Apple is talking to developer Walnut Capital about taking up to 90,000 square feet of space in the PAA building on Fifth Avenue. The building has been undergoing $25 million in renovations since Walnut Capital bought it in 2018. Scott said Pitt has “not yet made a decision on PAA space use.”
A new YouTube video gives a better idea of how the Bigelow Boulevard project and the work in front of the William Pitt Union will look after construction is done later this year.
Marathon station on Forbes
The Marathon gas station on Forbes Avenue between McKee Place and Semple Street has closed permanently, according to a person who answered the door at the shop. It was rumored that Pitt had bought the property, but Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for Business and Operations, said the University does not own the lot. “The University regularly explores real estate opportunities in the market to assess if they align with its strategic goals, but no decision has been made regarding this one at this time,” Scott said. According to Allegheny County tax records, the property was sold for $40,000 in June 2019 to Comhdam Realty. The land — 1.37 acres at 3500 Forbes Ave. — is valued at $1.47 million.
The Jimmy John’s store at 3444 Forbes Ave. is planning to move to 115 Oakland Ave. later this spring, according to a report in the Pitt News. The building where it is currently housed, and which CVS also just vacated, is the site of a proposed 13-story office building from Wexford Science + Technology. The development company is appealing a Pittsburgh Zoning Board ruling that denied a variance to build to 188.6 feet, more than 100 feet higher than allowed under city zoning law.
Pedestrian stair closures
Enabling projects to support the Campus Master Plan have caused the closure of two stairways.
Stairs from Irvis Hall to Chevron Science Center: Closed through summer 2020. Pedestrians can travel between upper and lower campus by using the shuttle service or the Petersen Events Center stairs.
Stairs from Eberly Hall to University Drive A: Closed through June 2020. Access to Eberly from the Parkman Avenue stairs remain open.
Read more about the enabling projects and the new rec center in an article about Facilities Management Project Manager Anastasia Dubnicay on the Facilities Management website.
— Susan Jones