Former Art Institute Housing to Be Converted into Condos

Downtown is booming as plans develop for yet another new apartment building.

photo by Ehren Zaun courtesy of flickr creative commons

Once housing for The Art Institute of Pittsburgh students, Shannon Hall is the latest Downtown building that will be converted into condos.

The Davis Companies, a Boston-based firm that recently completed a $100 million renovation of the historic Union Trust Building on Grant Street, has purchased the former warehouse from Try Street Associates LP, which was facing a possible foreclosure of the building, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The Davis Companies CEO and founder Jonathan Davis declined to tell the paper how much his firm paid for the debt. Try Street owed roughly $23.5 million on the mortgage, according to the Post-Gazette.

The Davis Companies plans to spend $10 million to $15 million turning the 230,000-square-foot, nine-story building, located on Second Avenue near the Pittsburgh Parking Authority's First Avenue garage, into 200 loft-style units featuring studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Amenities will include a fitness center, indoor parking, a rooftop deck, a dog washing station, common rooms and on-site security.

Davis told the Post-Gazette the more-than-century-old building’s columns and high ceilings lent itself to loft-style apartments. He added the renovations would accentuate the building’s industrial aesthetic.

He also suggested the units would be priced lower than newer apartment buildings that recently opened or will open Downtown, calling the project a “value alternative to new construction.” He did not speculate on potential rental rates.

This isn’t The Davis Companies first foray into Downtown.

rendering courtesy AE7 Pittsburgh LLC, 2017 

Besides the Union Trust Building, which now includes a mix of restaurant space, office tenants and parking, the company is working with the Pittsburgh Parking Authority on a proposed $175 million mixed-use development on Ninth and Penn avenues.

Currently the site of an aging concrete parking garage, the project is slated to include 185 high-end apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space. A new garage, able to accommodate 935 vehicles, will replace the property’s current 583-space garage.  

The projects join a plethora of other housing in the works for Downtown, including the new Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth Avenue.

Photo by John Altdorfer


Formerly a Kaufmann’s — and later a Macy’s — department store, the 1.2 million-square-foot building owned by Philadelphia-based Core Realty contains more than 300 luxury studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Each is equipped with Amazon Alexa, a fully automated, integrated voice command lifestyle technology.

Millcraft Investments and McKnight Realty Partners also have launched pre-sales for Lumiere, a new 86-unit apartment complex located in the former Saks Fifth Avenue department store on Oliver Avenue. Plans for the 10-story, $38 million project include a rooftop deck, open floor plans and a dog park, plus a new parking garage.

Across the river in Station Square, High Street Residential, a residential subsidiary of Trammell Crow Company, recently broke ground on Glasshouse, a five-story mixed-use development containing 319 apartments, plus restaurant and retail space.


Categories: Nest