PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Parking is a premium in downtown Pittsburgh, but more spaces could depend on new luxury condominiums at Ninth and Penn.

“It will be an additional 120 public parking spaces, net gain,” David Onorato, the executive director of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority said.

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On Thursday, the Parking Authority authorized its management team to rebuild the public garage at Ninth and Penn as part of a yet-to-be-negotiated mixed use development agreement with The Davis Companies of Boston.

“I think it’s very exciting. It’s still in the preliminary stages, but if we can come to terms on a contract, it’ll be another step in the Cultural District developing an entire block,” Onorato told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

The Davis Companies, that won acclaim for upgrading the Union Trust Building, wants to build something they say downtown Pittsburgh needs.

“The development of 185 luxury condominiums, and this is a product type that, frankly, Pittsburgh hasn’t seen,” CEO and Founder Jon Davis said.

Davis says the ten-story luxury condos will have unique amenities, including river views, a rooftop garden, and both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

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Along the street will be retail shopping.

Much of the property is owned by the Cultural Trust. and CEO Kevin McMahon calls it “a great new development,” adding “a new neighborhood for downtown is born here.”

As exciting and dynamic as this project is, it does come with a short-term cost — the loss of hundreds of parking spaces, perhaps as many as 600 in the old garage and another 100 in the adjacent open parking lot.

Onorato hopes to hold that temporary pain to sixteen months before the new garage opens.

As for the timetable on the new housing and retail shopping?

“We would hope to start construction in 2018 absolutely,” Davis said. “And I know the Parking Authority is anxious to see a new garage up and running in 2020.”

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