This Strip District Penthouse Has It All — Including a View of Downtown

The luxury two-bedroom unit comes fully furnished, right down to the glasses and flatware.

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When Carey and Josh Pickus planned their move to Pittsburgh, they settled on penthouse unit 603 inside The Refinery at 2545 Penn Ave. in the Strip District, drawn by the amazing views of Downtown. 

The new building also offered 1,700 square feet of interior space as well as a spectacular 590-square-foot terrace from where they could enjoy the city skyline. They then hired Sarah Coax of Pittsburgh’s Wildman Chalmers Design, LLC  to help them incorporate their custom furniture into the luxury two bedroom, 2½- bathroom unit. 

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The couple had spent just a few weeks in the completed unit when the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020. 

“We moved here for my husband’s work and were planning on commuting between Pittsburgh and South Florida,” Carey says. “When the lockdown happened, we chose South Florida because we wanted to be able to be outdoors. After a while, his company decided to go to all remote work.”  

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After deciding to leave Pittsburgh, the couple put their dazzling new condo on the market. Fully furnished (except for the artwork) and turnkey ready, it’s now on the market for $1.585 million (MLS# 1535172, Racheallee Lacek and Mark Jennings, Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty, piattsir.com). It is open by appointment. 

Wide-plank bleached floors lend an airy feel to the space, while exquisite grasscloth wallpaper in shades of wheat add a rich texture to the walls. 

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The kitchen features a custom white-planked wall above the cabinets that runs to the ceiling. It’s the perfect backdrop for the luxury appliance package, including a built-in SubZero refrigerator and Wolf Range. Painted a deep blue-toned black, the island is complemented by custom McGuire bar stools — just some of the many custom pieces the couple shipped from their previous home. 

The kitchen also comes completely outfitted.  

“The everyday dishes, knives and kitchenware and tools are from Crate & Barrel,” Carey says. “The ceramic canisters on the counter are from Italy and the cookware is all new Calphalon.”

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Just beyond the island, an antique dining table seats four. The space is anchored by a dynamic carved console table. 

Like the rest of the condo, the living room is beautifully appointed — and offers a lot of flexibility. 

“Sarah found a craftsman to make the custom bar in the living room. It is walnut and industrial pipe,” Carey says, noting it is equipped with vintage Italian glassware. 

The sofa from Room and Board pulls out into a sleeper. It is accented by a pair of barrel chairs,  which were bought in Los Angeles and reupholstered, and a leather side chair by Bluedot Design. Carved and arched accent tables add interest, while the entire set-up is pulled together by a Tibetan rug. 

“It is a rug that we had for many years,” Carey says. “It is a Tufenkian design and very special.”

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Carey also had the media wall painted to match the island, which allows the floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to recede, and the city skyline to take center stage. To the right, a wall of built-in bookcases provide a great work-from-home setup. 

Covered in a trendy, fantastical wallcovering by  Milton and King, the powder room is not to be missed. The pattern, dubbed “Animal Kingdom,” is a delight. 

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The primary bedroom features soft gray paint, a custom walk-in closet and access to the outside terrace. The attached bathroom is very spa-like, with soft blue walls, an oversized double vanity and a wet area with ledgestone tile, a soaking tub and a rainshower/handshower bath fixture hidden behind a glass wall. 

“I thought it was so pretty; It gives it texture but it is not overwhelming,” Carey says.  

The second bedroom also has access to the terrace, plus an attached bathroom with a lot of pizzazz thanks to the gray-and-teal encaustic tile wall. The laundry closet is an in-unit feature. 

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This unit also has private club room access. The Refinery features a state-of-the-art fitness center with Peloton bikes, private resident garage parking, bike storage and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit and grilling area. 

Carey says she regrets not being able to spend more time in the unit. She adds she loves the area and she also fell in love with the home’s extraordinary views. 

“It is very unique in The Refinery,” she says. “Our unit has the wraparound deck with the view of the city. It is amazing. Now that this is a turnkey property, it is perfect for someone who is looking for that special design.”

Additional media and a video tour are available online at refinerypenthouse.com.

Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at onecordovaroad@gmail.com.

About: The Strip District 

Population: 1,112

Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 23-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Port Authority. Street parking, bike lanes, Rideshare are also available.

Schools: Pittsburgh Public Schools (pghschools.org

Neighborhood: A major building boom has brought lots of new development to the Strip District. Among them are the recently completed Terminal Project, which is breathing new life into Smallman Street with its diverse offering of businesses, restaurants, microbreweries, beauty services and fitness studios.

Categories: Hot Property