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Google to expand its Pittsburgh presence in Bakery Square 2.0

Google confirmed long-running speculation on Monday when it announced that it will expand its Pittsburgh presence. According to a company-issued statement, Google has signed a lease on 66,000 square feet of additional office space across from its current Penn Avenue location in Bakery Square 2.0, the new residential and commercial development from Walnut Capital.

The California-based tech giant opened its first Pittsburgh office in 2006 and currently occupies 140,000 square feet of space in the former Nabisco factory at Bakery Square.

“Google has expressed their commitment to growth in Pittsburgh. They see Pittsburgh as a market worth expanding in, and it’s a place both they and their employees are happy to be,” says City Councilman Dan Gilman, whose District 8 includes the site of Bakery Square 2.0.

The new offices will include a skywalk across Penn Avenue, linking Google’s new offices to its existing ones. While there has been no indication of the number of jobs Google’s Pittsburgh expansion could potentially create, the addition will push Google’s Pittsburgh operations over 200,000 square feet. According to the company, Google’s local offices work on its search functions, ads, shopping and core engineering infrastructure.

“It’s clear that this corridor is becoming a high-tech industry corridor with retail there to support it,” Gilman says. “It’s going to continue to grow into Larimer and Lemington and Homewood. This is a fine location looking for any company looking to grow in Pittsburgh. What Google has consistently said is that as long as they continue to find the talent, they’re going to continue to grow in Pittsburgh.”

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Dan Gilman

Eat + Drink: Fish, fireplaces, macarons by mail

Eat + Drink is Pop City’s weekly look at epic local nommz.

Toro Fest 2013
Bloomfield’s Fukuda, which celebrated its first anniversary in October, is hosting its first annual Toro Fest this week, with a full calendar of events scheduled through next Monday. Named for the Japanese term for fatty Bluefin tuna, Toro Fest isn’t just a celebration of the food itself, but of fish and sustainability on the whole.

Throughout the week, Fukuda will offer sessions on Japanese culture and language at the restaurant, and end the week by taking over No Menu Monday at Bar Marco on December 16th.

For more information, check out Fukuda’s Toro Fest calendar or the event’s Facebook page.
 
Macarons by mail
Gaby et Jules, the French patisserie on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill which started this year as a joint venture between Paris 66 owners Fred and Lori Rongier and Master Pastry Chef David Piquard, has opened up an online store and begun taking orders for its deservedly celebrated macarons.

In addition to its normal range of flavors, Piquard has rolled out a holiday line which includes gingerbread, peppermint white chocolate, Orangette (chocolate and orange, Eat + Drink’s favorite), chestnut and egg nog — a flavor Piquard was initially skeptical of, but which was made at Lori Rongier’s urging and much to our delight.

To ensure the macarons arrive fresh, Gaby et Jules ships only Monday through Wednesday and utilizes USPS Priority Mail.
 
Get inside, get warm
Today’s high is under 30°. Tomorrow’s is under 20°. But are you really going to let that keep you from enjoying your weeknight happy hour? Consider joints with fireplaces:

For drinks, stop by 1947 Tavern on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. Monterey Pub in the North Side’s Mexican War Streets district is another cozy option. A few blocks away, Max’s Allegheny Tavern offers German fare by an old fireplace. Toast! offers excellent food and great wine in a beautiful old building in Shadyside which has fireplaces on all three stories. Eat + Drink’s favorite, though, is The Oak Room — the hotel bar inside the Mansions on Fifth. It’s seldom crowded unless there’s an event, and it’s easily one of the five coziest rooms in the city.

Writer: Matthew Wein

Lots of Green Bike + Bus Tour now bigger and better and ending in a party

For the second straight year, Growth Through Energy + Community Health (GTECH) will host a BikeFest event highlighting neighborhood efforts to make Pittsburgh greener.

The Lots of Green Bike + Bus Tour, which will take place on August 10th, offer participants bike tours of seven and 32 miles, as well as the option of a 90-minute bus tour for those less inclined to ride.

To expand upon last year’s bike tour of new and innovative community green space, GTECH has partnered with Grow Pittsburgh to make the event even bigger.

“Most of the projects that will be highlighted are former vacant lots — spaces that have been transformed into community green spaces,” says GTECH’s Sara Innamorato.

The tours will begin at 9 a.m., and leave from GTECH’s offices at 6587 Hamilton Avenue.

“If you look at the route, a lot of the gardens are in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy,” Innamorato says. “There are these green efforts happening in the community and there are people who really care about them and want to make them better.”

The tours include stops at community gardens and parks in city neighborhoods such as Garfield, Greenfield, the South Side, East Liberty, Homewood and Larimer, and areas just outside the city, including Braddock, Wilkinsburg, Homestead and Millvale.

When the tours conclude, participants will meet back up at GTECH’s offices for a party, featuring food from local vendors such as Marty’s Market, My Goodies Bakery and Rob’s Awesome Italian Ice, drinks from Commonplace Coffee, and beer donated by East End Brewing Company.

The Tech Shop will be on hand with a bike-themed demo, and Carnegie Library of Braddock’s Print Shop will be doing custom screen printing.

Tickets for Lots of Green are $10 and may be purchased through Showclix. For more on 2013 BikeFest, visit its website and check out Pop City’s expanded coverage.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Sara Innamorato

Eastside III and $52 million East Liberty Transit Center moving ahead together

The planned Eastside III development will be centered on a new $52 million transit center and will include more than 360 apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail.

A project of Mosites Co., the $65 million transit-oriented development will complete the 14-acre Eastside development which began in East Liberty over a decade ago.

Mosites' earlier developments have brought large retailers such as Whole Foods and Target to the neighborhood. Now, rather than seeking more big-box retailers, the latest phase will be built for smaller stores complimentary to the new residential units proposed for the site.

Steve Mosites says his company is excited about building community in the larger context, as well as at the development site.

"With 360 apartments, it's a community within itself," he says.

The new multi-modal transit center will include a new bicycle parking garage, pedestrian links, and a hub for nearly 1,000 daily bus departures and arrivals. A new connection to Shadyside will be constructed via a pedestrian bridge.

Last June, the City received a $15 million TIGER IV grant for the planned East Liberty Transit Center. The transit center is being developed in a partnership between the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the URA, and Mosites. 

The URA board voted last week to sell a portion of vacated Shakespeare Street to Mosites for $1, which completes the site assembly necessary to begin development of both projects. Bids for the transit center’s development could begin as early as this summer, while the Eastside III project is expected to break ground by mid-2014.
 

Writer: Andrew Moore
Source:  Steve Mosites

Bakery Square 2.0 will break ground, $100 million mixed-use development

Bakery Square 2.0, a $100 million, mixed-use development adjacent to the former Nabisco factory, is set to break ground.  Developers Walnut Capital and partner RCG Longview Fund have officially closed on the purchase of the former Reizenstein School and surrounding property.

Demolition of the former school has begun, allowing construction to commence on phase 1 of the development. The plan calls for several office buildings along Penn Avenue, with up to 400,000 square-feet of office space; 55 rental townhomes; and the construction of several interior roads and bike paths.

The development site is located across the street from Bakery Square, a $100 million redevelopment of the former Nabisco factory and several new structures. Tenants there include Google, UPMC, the Software Engineering Institute, various retail  and restaurants, and a hotel.

Construction of the first apartment building is expected to begin in March, with an opening date of June 2014.  The five-story building will include 175 apartment units and underground parking.  Rents are expected to range from $900 to $1,000 per month.

Earlier this month Walnut Capital announced it was dropping plans to develop 20 single-family homes in favor of a second apartment building, which will be similar in scope to the first.

A $2 million federal grant, secured by Mayor Ravenstahl and the URA will be used to help prepare infrastructure at the site. 


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Gregg Perelman

Mansions on Fifth celebrates grand opening as 22-room boutique hotel

The Mansions on Fifth, a 22-room boutique hotel, celebrated a grand opening yesterday along with the complete restoration of the McCook Reed House. It’s the culmination of a seven year historic restoration process that has given new life to a pair of unique Pittsburgh homes.

Mary Del Brady, who owns the Mansions with husband Richard Pearson, says they are eager to share these historic spaces with the community.

“We feel more like stewards than owners,” Brady says.

The homes, which are Elizabethan Revivalist and Tudor styles, were built between 1900 and 1906 by industrialist and lawyer Willis F. McCook on what was then Millionaires Row.  According to Brady, McCook also helped build the nearby St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The buildings’ most recent owners vowed to only sell to someone who would restore them.  Pearson, a developer and preservationist, had long admired the mansions. When they went up for sale, he and Brady jumped at the opportunity.

“You can’t ever rebuild a building like this again, and that’s the magic of it,” Brady says.

The hotel was restored consistent with Secretary of Interior standards.

The main McCook House, a 30,000-square-foot, solid granite structure, was opened to guests last year.  In addition to 13 guest rooms, this building contains most of the Mansions’ public rooms, including the grand hall and staircase, the Oak Room, library, as well as a wine cellar and fitness room. 

The Mansions feature a gallery specializing in 18th and 19th century European art (Gallery Werner), and has begun to host live music.  The hotel is also available for weddings and other special events.
 

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Mary Del Brady

Eat + Drink: Wigle's aged whiskey released; Noodlehead; Franktuary; and a new speakeasy downtown

Eat + Drink is Pop City's roundup of Pittsburgh's food scene.


- BZ’s Bar and Grill is now open on the North Shore.  Open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., the restaurant features what owner/manager Brandon Herriott calls “twisted American cuisine.”  Menu items include crab and avocado mac and cheese, pizza with house-made chorizo, a “turducken” burger, and more.

BZ’s is located at 140 Federal Street, directly across from PNC Park.  And while Herriott expects his business to do well during game days, he hopes the community will embrace the establishment beyond events.  “I want to be part of the neighborhood,” he says.

The restaurant seats 200 guests, including a private dining space and meeting room.  In the spring, BZ’s expects to add 40-50 patio seats.  412-323-BZBG

- Pittsburgh’s newest Thai restaurant, Noodlehead, is now open in Shadyside.  A BYOB, the eatery specializes in noodle dishes from the street markets of Thailand.  The menu features just ten $6 and $9 noodle dishes, and a few snacks, such as Thai fried chicken ($6.50) and pork belly steamed buns ($6).

Noodlehead is located at 242 South Highland Avenue, and is cash only. 

Franktuary’s new Lawrenceville location (3810 Butler Street) is officially scheduled to open later this month, on December 21st.  The restaurant will have a bar, and will seat around 100.

Fans of the downtown location should fear not, the original shop (325 Oliver Avenue) will stay open.  Likewise,  the Franktuary Food Truck will continue with mobile service.

- Pittsburgh’s first batch of aged whiskey since prohibition will be released by Wigle Whiskey next Saturday, December 15th.  And although Wigle has been open since last year, offering its white whiskey, these are its first aged rye and wheat whiskeys, aged in small, 10 gallon oak barrels for six months.  In the spirit of craft innovation, the distillery has finished several of the oak barreled whiskey with cherry and maple honeycombed wood for a variety of flavors. 

The distillery also recently launched its Wigle Ginever, a Dutch-style gin, popular before the advent of large commercial stills.  It is one of only two produced in the nation.

-  Continuing with the theme of prohibition—today is the 79th anniversary of its repeal—the Omni William Penn Hotel has reopened a former speakeasy in the historic building’s lower level.  The new bar’s interior replicates the original décor, and a cocktail list features researched drinks from the ‘20’s.  The speakeasy is open from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Thursdays through Saturdays.  530 William Penn Place, Downtown. 


 
Writer:  Andrew Moore

Steel Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Cantina opening in Shadyside

AMPD Group, the entertainment management group behind Diesel Lounge, Local Bar + Kitchen, and Delanie’s Coffee, is set to open Steel Cactus Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Shadyside. 

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant will be the group’s sixth concept, and the fourth to open within the last year. 
Co-owner Adam Desimone is calling the concept funky, authentic Mexican, with a made-from-scratch menu featuring tacos, ceviche, burritos, and a variety of salads and entrees.  And saying true to the name, the restaurant will serve fried cactus, and a number of other accompanying cactus preparations.

The restaurant is located in the second story space above Victoria’s Secret on Walnut Street, and has been completely remodeled.  Desimone says they wanted to open the space to the street as the former restaurant space had previously been boxed in.  Now, three-quarters of the space opens with NanaWall windows and a balcony-railing system.

And on top of the restaurant, a 2,400-square-foot roof deck has been added, with layered, semi-private levels, and an island bar at the center.  Desimone says the deck space will be ideal for accommodating groups, and could be rented out in full.

The restaurant received a $150,000 Pittsburgh Business Growth Fund loan and a $5,000 storefront renovation grant from the URA, to assist with opening costs and renovations. 

Desimone expects Steel Cactus to be open by the end of July.  The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner, with a limited late-night menu.   The group has plans to add weekend brunch service in the near future.

In addition to the new restaurant in Shadyside, AMPD is opening a seventh concept called Sky Bar, which will be located above Diesel Lounge via a separate entrance on E. Carson Street.
 

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Adam Desimone

Pittsburgh's first on-street bicycle corrals coming to South Side, Shadyside

How many bikes can fit in the space of one car?  At least a dozen, as will soon be shown on East Carson Street when the city installs its first bike corral on the South Side next week.

Last Friday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that the city's first on-street bicycle parking would be located at OTB (Over The Bar) Bicycle Café.  The corral, at 2518 East Carson Street, will replace two vehicle parking spaces with infrastructure to accommodate between 24 and 30 bicycles.

The project was first initiated by OTB owner Mike Kotyk in 2009.  He says although the City was very supportive from the beginning, because Carson Street is a PennDOT road, they had to work through that organization's lengthy process of documentation and permitting.

Kotyk says that in addition to increasing the opportunity for business, the corral will work, much like bike lanes, to encourage more people to cycle, and feel confident on city streets.

“The more bicycle infrastructure that the city has, the more people are going to feel safe cycling, and feel that it's a bike friendly climate,” Kotyk says, “Where they have the ability to park their bike [and] feel safe and comfortable that it's going to be there when they get back.”

And on the same day, City Councilman Bill Peduto announced a second project located in Shadyside, at the intersection of Walnut and Bellefonte.  This bike corral will also be on-street, and is expected to accommodate between 6 to 12 bikes.

Funding for the corral was approved by City Council last November.  They are expected to be installed by August or September, depending on the design and approval process.

According to Peduto, the idea for the corral came from the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, a neighborhood organization, after identifying a need for increased bicycle parking in the neighborhood.

Another group, Shadyside Action Coalition, has also been involved in the process, and hopes to promote Shadyside as an eco-friendly community.

“I think the fact that the community chose the premiere location, the very center of the business district, shows how important it is to them to have bike parking, and how much they want to be able to promote it as part of the Shadyside experience,” Peduto says.


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Mike Kotyk; Bill Peduto

Franklin West converts Ronald McDonald Houses to apartments in Shadyside

The Franklin West property group has recently completed the restoration and renovation of two Queen Ann Victorian homes in Shadyside, now offering a total of 21 apartment units.  This project brings their work in the neighborhood full-circle, as the homes are located across Shady Avenue from the company's first-ever renovations, completed nearly 50 years ago.

Caroline West says her family-owned company has prided itself on home-to-apartment conversions in Shadyside that blend with existing, historic buildings and single-family homes.

“In converting [these buildings] to apartments we tried to respect all the original historic characteristics, such as the tall windows, the tall doors, the high ceilings,” West says.  “Both buildings have been completely modernized, yet it still from the outside looks like exactly what it is--a gracious, old Victorian.”

Both homes, built circa 1880, are former Ronald McDonald Houses, and had offered residences there from 1970 until 2008, when Franklin West purchased both buildings.  The foundation was able to continue operating from Shady Avenue until its new location, within the Lawrenceville Children’s Hospital, was completed.

Architect Kevin Wagstaff of Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff, and Goettel, designed the renovations of both buildings, 500 and 512 Shady Avenue.  A mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $1300 to $1890, each unit features high-efficiency appliances, washer/dryer, and central heat and air conditioning.

Of the company’s properties, which total near 1,000 units in the greater Pittsburgh area, West says the work on Shady Avenue is exemplary of Franklin West’s commitment to maintaining historic properties.

“It’s an example where through creative reuse we are able to preserve the charm and character of the neighborhood--why people want to come and live in Shadyside,” she says.  “We have really focused on maintaining buildings…[that] still have viable use and a desire in the neighborhood.”


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Caroline West

Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city, adds Eastside Pedestrian Bridge to the list

Pittsburgh can claim more bridges than any other city in the world, and will now add one more elevated span to the list.  The Eastside Pedestrian Bridge, a project of the URA, opened last week, connecting the Ellsworth shopping district with the Eastside development in East Liberty.

East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) initiated the effort to build this structure, which is equal parts functional amenity and public art.

Skip Schwab, ELDI director of operations, says that while undertaking a community outreach and planning process, residents expressed a desire to have better connections between East Liberty and Shadyside.

The community wanted the new bridge design to be more open, and to have a safer feeling than the existing structures which cross the busway, Schwab says.

And in order to finance the planning and engineering of the bridge, ELDI raised funds from the private sector, including numerous foundations and individuals, to supplement the project’s budget.

Artist Shelia Klein designed the artistic elements of the bridge.  Thousands of glass sequins adorn the structure, and were made at the Pittsburgh Glass Center in the nearby Friendship.  Railings for the bridge were salvaged from the 31st Street Bridge, and restored by Keystone Metals in Larimer. 

Schwab says the bridge is part of a broader effort to repair pedestrian infrastructure lost during urban renewal of the 1960s.

“Everything that we're trying to do is to not only just rebuild the connections, but to do it in a way that is much more pedestrian friendly and accessible,” Schwab says.

The total project cost was $1.5 million, and included street lighting and sidewalk improvements in Shadyside, and was designed by SAI Consulting Engineers.


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Skip Schwab, ELDI

Lululemon Athletica opens in Shadyside

Lululemon Athletica, a hip, yoga-inspired athletic apparel company, opened in Shadyside last Friday. The retailer makes clothing designed for yoga, running, dancing, and other sweat-inducing activities. The opening celebration included a series of in-store yoga classes taught by Darcy Lyle and Jesse Bueno.

The company chose to open a store in Pittsburgh because it’s an active, healthy community, and a good fit for the Lululemon brand and stores, says spokesperson Tracy Keough.

The fabrics used by Lululemon are wicking, which means they pull moisture away from the skin, spreading evenly throughout the fabric and evaporating quickly.  Keough says the clothes are built by athletes for athletes, using feedback focusing on fit, function and technical performance.

Designs are available for both men and women. Keough says the fabric blends are not only good for athletic pursuits, but they’re beautiful too.

Lululemon was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson, a Vancouver veteran of the surf, skate, and snowboard business.  According to company lore, Wilson wanted to design a technical athletic fabric that was more appropriate for yoga than common cotton fabrics.  The designs he developed were successful, and sparked an “underground yoga clothing movement.”

Keough says her company seeks to create authentic relationships in communities, and is grassroots focused.  The Shadyside store hopes to be a local source for information on yoga, running, fitness, health and goal-setting.

Located at 5518 Walnut Street, in Shadyside, Lululemon Athelitca is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  412-687-3592.


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Tracy Keough

Eden Restaurant opens in Shadyside, features raw, vegan items

The restaurant Eden has opened in Shadyside, and has stated its mission simply: to bring the freshest food possible.  The new eatery replaces the former Juice Box Café, but is a project of the previous owners, Albert Polanec and Chef Hilary Zozula.  

Zozula says the new restaurant was opened in order to focus on healthy foods and the health of people, with equal emphasis on building community as well as meals.  

“We just wanted people to feel good about what they're eating,” Zozula says.  She says she wanted to create a restaurant where customers come in knowing that everything is nutritious and high quality.

Zozula says raw-vegan is the epitome of healthy food because all ingredients are pure, and no nutrients have been cooked out.   And as a chef, creating meals without the use of heat is both challenging and rewarding.

“It’s the most fun that I've ever had with food because you get to see this product that was just a vegetable or a piece of fruit and you mix it with these other ingredients, and all of a sudden it turns into something else,” Zozula says.

Starters include tomato tartar, with basil, lemon, and zucchini, and an apple, celery, mint, cucumber gazpacho.  Entrees include a BBQ mushroom wrap, Tomato Napoleon, with sweet corn, sunflower seed, and basil, and a cashew cream curry with red ginger rice, avocado, and yellow squash.   

The lunch menu, however, is not exclusively raw, and does include meat.  Those items are also available during dinner hours.

This Saturday, Eden will launch their new fall menu with a $10 Menu Tasting event.  Dinner will coincide with an exhibit by photographer Arvin Clay.  Starters include spiced cabbage slaw, sweet walnut paté, and a beet and apple salad.  Entrees include pumpkin curry, squash noodle Pad Thai, and a kale, tomato, mushroom, pizza.

Keeping with the focus on raw and fresh foods, Eden features fresh juices and smoothies, made from 100% real fruits and vegetables.

Zozula says she hopes to have created a setting for raw food that is equal to any other fine dining experience.  “Except instead of the food just being good, it’s insanely healthy,” she says.

Eden, located at 735 Copeland Street, is open Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch, and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner; Sundays, brunch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. BYOB.  412-802-7070.


Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Hilary Zozula

Shadyside Nursery creates aquaponic greenhouse, organic food system

Pittsburgh's newest nursery, Shadyside Nursery, is utilizing aquaponic and vermiculture techniques to raise fish and heirloom vegetables. Located one block north of the Ellsworth Avenue, the nursery is hoping to fill a niche in the local food movement by using sustainable and organic practices.

Co-owner Bill Brittain says Shadyside Nursery is one of a few for-profit aquaponic enterprises in the nation. Aquaponics is a system that combines aquaculture and hydroponics in a symbiotic relationship, which allows for conservation of resources and energy.

Brittain and partners Matt Bogel and brother Michael Georges built an aquaponic greenhouse capable of raising 1,500 tilapia, and that currently produces between 100 and 200 pounds of herbs. The system is stocked with young fish which should be ready for sale by March of next year.

The tilapia eat worms, excess produce from nursery beds, and even odd items like stale bagels from the Bagel Factory. Byproducts from the aquaculture then become vital nutrients for the growing plants, which include four types of basil, mint, and French oak leaf lettuce.

The nursery sells heirloom produce grown in raised beds to Spak Brothers Pizza in Garfield, Bryant Street Market, and Mediterrano. And Brittain says the nursery also receives food waste from these restaurants for their vermiculture composting system.

Shadyside Nursery replaces a more conventional nursery that had existed on the same site. In the fall, the nursery will sell pumpkins, and later Christmas trees from Indiana County. And the aquaponics will continue year-round.

Brittain says the nursery plans to raise heirloom tomatoes in the greenhouse throughout winter, with piped heat from compost, and a rocket stove fueled by wood.

Shadyside Nursery, 510 Maryland Ave, Shadyside, 15232. Tuesday to Sunday, 10a.m. to 7p.m.


Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Bill Brittain, Shadyside Nursery

Construction begins on pedestrian bridge between East Liberty and Shadyside

The Urban Redevelopment Authority began construction this week on the $1.5 million pedestrian bridge that will connect Shadyside and East Liberty at the intersection of Ellsworth Avenue and Spahr Street.

URA Executive Director Rob Stephany says it is one of the first artist-designed pedestrian bridges in the state and will offer a more direct connection between the neighborhoods. With Negley and Highland Avenues the only connectors the public was forced to take longer routes. "It's a really thoughtful way to connect economic systems, as well as neighborhoods," he says.

Scheduled to open December 27, the bridge will be bike and pedestrian friendly. The URA is working with SAI Consulting Engineers and Frank J. Zottola Construction Inc. on building the bridge. Pittsburgh-born artist Sheila Klein designed the bridge, with assistance from Heinz Endowments, while the Office of Public Art worked with the communities to negotiate infrastructure. PennDOT is the lead funder for the project.  Once constructed, the bridge will be dedicated to the City of Pittsburgh.

Stephany explains the bridge will feature a number of artistic touches such as restored historic handrails and medallions from the Pittsburgh Glass Center. By connecting the shops on Center and Ellsworth Avenues, the bridge will create an intimate bond between the two, he adds.

In addition, Stephany says the URA seeks to make the biggest off-site impact it can. "It's a game-changer from a system standpoint," he says. It will change the way shoppers shop by giving them more options that are easily accessible.

During construction, Ellsworth Avenue between Spahr St. and Lamont Place will be closed to traffic in both directions. It will be open to local and business traffic only from Maryland Avenue to Spahr Street and to local traffic only from Shady Avenue to Lamont Place.

Spahr Street will be open to local and business traffic only from Alder Street to Ellsworth Avenue, and traffic northbound on Spahr Street will only be able to make a left hand turn onto Ellsworth Avenue. (westbound).

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Writer: Alex Audia
Source: Rob Stephany, URA

Image courtesy of the URA
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