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March 31, 2011

Dorm awaits final approval

The Pittsburgh city planning commission in a March 22 meeting approved Pitt’s plan for a freshman dorm on University Place, subject to standard conditions including approval by the city’s zoning board of adjustment. Under the city’s zoning code, dormitories require a special exception in the Educational/Medical Institution (EMI) district.

Pitt’s proposal brought no objectors to a March 10 zoning board hearing but the board’s decision has yet to be finalized. That answer is expected within a few weeks.

The 578-bed dorm would be built on the site of the 121 University Place office building and a surface parking lot. (See March 17 University Times.) The 11-story building would include first-floor retail space with room for Pitt’s Counseling Center and Student Health Service on the second level.

The project also includes a traffic light at Fifth Avenue.

Demolition of the existing structure is to begin this summer with the new building projected to be ready in fall 2013.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

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