LAWRENCEVILLE (KDKA) – Tuesday was a big day for Lawrenceville as officials broke ground for a new apartment complex.

“An urban environment is dynamic and attractive and has great texture,” Ernie Sota from Sota Construction Services said.

Sota is banking on the fact that an old building, not far from the Allegheny Cemetery and a short drive from downtown will be a draw for future tenants.

“Butler Street just continues to be re-invigorated with a lot of really neat small business that are staking their claim here and betting their dollar in Pittsburgh, and we are doing the same here,” Sota said.

The $5.5 million development will turn the old H.K. Porter Company headquarters into a 34-unit apartment building.

The project is called the Locomotive Lofts because of the old locomotive engines made by Porter.

“When you look at our renaissance it’s a mix of both new development but also rehabbing old buildings. That’s that this is an example of today to take an old industrial site, rehab into 34 units that will be a LEED gold certified building I think really speaks to what Pittsburgh was and what Pittsburgh is becoming and we are really excited that it’s happening in Lawrenceville,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said.

The bulk of the funding comes from PNC Bank, but $900,000 is coming from the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.

“I think it’s great — especially for neighborhoods such as Lawrenceville that has such an historic core to it. I think this keeping a building like this is important to keep the fabric in the neighborhood,” Tom Cummings said.

“Lawrenceville is clearly one of Pittsburgh’s trendiest neighborhoods. It’s a growing neighborhood. It’s a vibrant neighborhood. It’s a neighborhood where a lot of young professionals have decided to live. Thirty-four new young professionals will be living here hopefully sometime next year at this time,” Ravenstahl said.


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