Developer Teams With Amazon To Redevelop Old Kaufmann’s Building Into High-Tech, Luxury Apartments

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you want to live in an apartment of the future, you may have a chance in a revamped building from Pittsburgh’s past.

A developer from Philadelphia has teamed up with Amazon Alexa to offer something unique in the old Kaufmann’s Department Store building. It’ll have a hotel and retail stores on the bottom level.

But, Wednesday night, people got a sneak peek at what the 311 apartments will look like.

Michael Samschick, from Core Reality, says Pittsburgh hasn’t seen anything like this.

The roof will have a tennis court and an infinity pool overlooking the city.

“You literally swim in the pool, and you think you’re going to swim off the side of the building,” said Samschick.

rooftop kaufmanns building Developer Teams With Amazon To Redevelop Old Kaufmanns Building Into High Tech, Luxury Apartments

(Source: Desmone Architects/Core Realty Inc.)

How about a lobby with a video wall made to look like a waterfall?

But the real fun is inside the planned apartments. The model unit contains keyless entry, and an iPad on the wall next to the door.

“Everything is voice-activated, voice-command,” said Samschick.

In fact, with a simple command: “Alexa, turn on. Close shades.”

The window shades automatically come down to cover the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The lights can be turned on and off, so can the TV, and so can the coffee maker, all with voice commands.

“What we’re doing is moving into the future, but still preserving our past,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “I think that’s a big part of what we are in Pittsburgh.”

At an unveiling party, people got a first glimpse and some had a flood of memories.

“The shoe department was right back here, the men’s shoe department,” said Leann Allen, who spent 10 years working in the store at the Estee Lauder counter. “I was here the last day they closed. Very sad, but I’m coming in here trying to get my bearings.”

And while there is a nod to the past, a $100 million renovation will take the place the into the future.

“We’ve gone from the Flintstones to the Jetsons, so basically short of a car Uber flying us up… you have everything thing here as the Jetsons would,” Samschick said.

If case you’re wondering, the apartments will run from $1,150 to $2,500 a month.

As for the retail, the developer will not reveal any names but says he has some letters of intent. They also actually turned down a couple retailers because they weren’t the right fit, he says.

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