Property watch: Library Phase IV, new arena open for public comment

The city of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning is hosting a development activities meeting next week on two Pitt projects. The meeting allows the public to learn more about proposed projects and provide feedback before the project can move forward in the city’s planning and approval process.

Phase IV of Hillman Library renovations: The meeting will allow for public feedback on proposed exterior updates to Hillman Library during Phase IV of the complete redo of the building. This includes a new large entryway in the northwest corner; renovations to south and east portions of the exterior first floor terrace; and work on the multi-leveled roof on the fourth floor.

Arena and Sports Performance Center: This next project in the Victory Heights initiative will put a new arena in the bowl next to the Petersen Sports Center. The arena will be the new home for gymnastics, volleyball and wrestling. Sixteen of Pitt’s 19 varsity teams will train in the sports performance center.

Oakland Planning and Development Corp. and Oakland Business Improvement District are hosting the development activities meeting at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 12 on Zoom. Find more information here.

Wexford Science building

A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court struck down a suit by three Oakland community groups that wanted to limit the height of a new office building on Forbes Avenue to 85 feet, according to The Pitt News.

The proposed Wexford Science and Technology building at 3440 Forbes Ave. has been involved in disputes since at least 2019 when the city’s zoning board said it would have to adhere to the zone’s 85-foot base height.

Last week’s ruling upheld a decision by the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court that permits Wexford to build up to 153 feet (or 10 stories) at the site of the now-empty Murdoch Building.

When completed, it will be the third new high-rise building in two blocks of Forbes, including:

  • A multi-story student apartment building at 3500 Forbes Avenue, at the former Marathon Gas station site. The 110-foot structure is under construction now.

  • The eight-story Murdoch Office Building at 3420 Forbes Ave., which opened in 2019 and is mostly leased by Pitt.