PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s bustling, expensive, and popular for people both young and old.
Now more people will land a chance to call East Liberty home. KDKA’s Meghan Schiller learned more affordable housing will soon pop up at the site of an empty parking lot, giving people of all income levels a chance to live near the action.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Discusses District's Future With City Council Members
The future spot of the newest apartments in East Liberty sits at the intersection of Harvard and North Beatty streets.
Terry Ellis says he’s watched change arrive in East Liberty, sending some longtime residents packing.
“It’s coming along really well, but I do think they need to put in some low-income housing around here to balance out the community,” said Ellis, the director of security at Eastminster Presbyterian Church.
That balance will improve, thanks to an agreement finalized Thursday between the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and Trek Development Group. The board voted “yes,” giving the all-clear for construction.
“The project itself is a 42-unit new construction mixed-income construction building, which is currently a surface parking lot on the edge of the East Liberty business unit,” said Evan Miller of the URA.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Pitt Center For Vaccine Research Explains How Variants Form And What They Mean
The $13 million project will look similar to Trek’s latest development on nearby Station Street called Mellons Orchard.
“Mellons Orchard has 47 total units, 37 of those units are affordable housing. So Mellons Orchard and Harvard Beatty together represent 89 new housing units with over 80 percent developed as affordable housing,” said Miller.
And the push to bring back the displaced residents continues. Thirty-five percent of the people now living at Mellons Orchard used to live at Penn Plaza. The URA hopes more of those displaced residents will apply to return to this new building.
“Trek’s posted banners specifically highlighting that Penn Plaza residents should apply, and they’ve done social media outreach on Facebook and Instagram,” said Miller.
“Change is good, but don’t just change for the ‘better people.’ Change for the low-income people because they’re the ones that make this community,” said Ellis.MORE NEWS: State Officials Warn Identity Theft Is Aiding Fraudsters Make False Unemployment Claims
The URA says 33 of the units will be one-bedroom and nine will be two-bedrooms. Also, 25 units will list at or below 50 to 60 percent of the area median income, making these homes attainable for more people.