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Development News

Point Park University a step closer to new playhouse

Point Park University has recently bought the former Honus Wagner Co. sporting goods building, located downtown on Forbes Avenue, for approximately $1.1 million. The university has sought this parcel as part of the school's plan to relocate the Pittsburgh Playhouse from it's current location in Oakland to the center of campus downtown, phase II of the Academic Village Initiative.

The Honus Wagner store had sold sporting goods and merchandise downtown for 93 years, before closing last winter. For the past 59 years the store operated from the Forbes Avenue location.

The university now owns a total of six parcels in the Forbes Avenue area, two of which are surface parking lots. It is unclear what will happen to the buildings on Forbes, and there is no set timeline for the playhouse project. "We are still in the process of evaluating all of those properties," says Mary Ellen Solomon, spokesperson for the university.

University plans show the construction of a new complex with three theaters, 150 to 400 seats each, production and teaching areas, a residence hall, an exterior balcony, and retail space.

The first phase of the university's $244 million Academic Village Initiative is on track to be completed by the end of 2012. The initiative's first phase includes a student and convocation center, an urban corner park, and improvements to the Wood Street corridor.

The school's urban corner park, which is transforming a surface parking lot into a park setting, with tree coverage, an outdoor cafe, glass stair tower, and water feature, is expected to be completed in the next two months.

Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Mary Ellen Solomon, Point Park University

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