PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Strip District continues to be a hotbed for development. Several projects continue to take advantage of the available buildings and real estate, and a new one is now in the works.
The building at the corner of Smallman Street and 24th Street is the latest of several projects. It’s supposed to become a multi-use building. It’s currently covered in graffiti but there are plans to make it a fitness center, retail store and bar.READ MORE: Haunted Hills Hayride Reopens Friday Night With New Security Measures
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This comes as crews continue to redevelop the old produce terminal and plans continue for a 21-story building at the old Wholey’s refrigeration facility.
“It’s just another piece of the puzzle. At this point in time, the more the merrier,” Jim Coen, the head of the Strip District Business Association said. “We’ve had construction for a long time. We’d love for it to settle down so we can catch up.”READ MORE: Dr. Freddie Fu, World-Renowned UPMC Doctor, Dies At 70
Coen owns several store fronts along Penn Avenue, which is in the shadow of the development. He is excited with the progress he sees and hopes this can bring more people to the historic neighborhood.
But the fear is new development could raise property values and drive out small businesses already there.
“A lot of the businesses are second, third, fourth generation. So we want to make sure we keep that,” Coen said.
Coen said there is a fine balance that needs to be kept between bringing in the new and keeping what’s already there.
“Major changes on this street, we don’t need. This street has done well and it’s going to continue to do well,” he said outside his business.MORE NEWS: Pennsylvania Wildfire Season: 99 Percent Of Wildfires Caused By People
KDKA reached out to Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross. She represents the neighborhood and has worked to address this in the past. We did not hear back from her office today.