Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today that the City and developers have closed the public-private financing package necessary to secure Target’s final commitment to move forward with their store which will border Penn Ave., Penn Circle and Broad Street in East Liberty, their only City of Pittsburgh location. Target will break ground next month and expects to open the store in July of 2011.
“This is a most exciting day for the future of our great City,” Ravenstahl said. “Getting Target to invest in East Liberty was an intense strategic effort that could not have happened without so many valuable partners who believe in the economic transformation of our City and of East Liberty. When we talk about the Pittsburgh of the future, we envision a place that is walkable, sustainable and bustling with great stores and shops right next to where people live, work, play and make transportation connections. As we work to transform places like East Liberty into economic engines, we will see more prosperity and growth happen in nearby communities like Larimer, Homewood and the East Hills.”
The Mosites Company, the developers of the 143,000 sq. ft. department store and the City Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) officially wrapped up the financing deal which will create more than 200 jobs, provide an additional $1.62m annually in new state and local taxes, and fuel surrounding development and business growth in the bustling East Liberty corridor.
Steven Mosites, Jr. President of The Mosites Company said, “We had to demonstrate to Target that East Liberty is indeed a high-powered marketplace. Our work to bring Whole Foods Market and Eastside proved that point, and that market continues to grow in a sustainable way. Google’s move to Bakery Square is evidence that this is all interconnected. I believe that the addition of Target to East Liberty will continue to change the daily shopping patterns for many City residents and spur more investment.”
East Liberty saw the fist spur of major commercial development in 1999 when Home Depot opened. In 2002, Whole Foods Market came to the neighborhood. The success of these two stores paved the way for additional investment, including an influx of locally-owned businesses. Several new restaurants, strategically clustered to create a destination dining district, offer diverse international cuisine.
Key to solidifying Target’s interest was the City’s commitment to accelerating the two-way conversion of Penn Circle between Highland and Collins Avenues.
“The master development strategy identified the Target site as an anchor location, but we needed a two-way road system to truly connect this site,” said Rob Stephany, URA executive director. “Target has done many urban deals and they knew pulling this off was going to require an extraordinary team. When the Mayor met with Target’s representatives and laid out an expedited plan to provide the city infrastructure and road changes, that’s when conceptual negotiations turned to ‘let’s make this deal happen.’”
The $5 million conversion which commences in July 2010 and is expected to be complete by May 2011 includes streetscape, sidewalk and other crosswalk improvements that will improve the parking, pedestrian and public transportation of the corridor. The Port Authority bus loop at the corner of Penn Ave. and Penn Circle East will be reconfigured from a five-way intersection to a more vehicular and pedestrian friendly four-way intersection. Raising these resources required commitments from Pittsburgh City Council, the School Board and the Onorato and the Rendell administrations.
“With Target coming to the East End section of the City of Pittsburgh, this is the kind of economic development that will serve as a catalyst for many more projects to occur within the 9th Council District,” said Councilman Reverend Ricky Burgess. “I am excited and in full support of projects of this kind because of the positive effects they have on our communities.”
The store will be one of Target’s few single-level elevated stores, which means the store will be one-level raised above parking, which will be at street level. The second floor will include windows for natural day-lighting, a design feature City officials encouraged to add to the aesthetic and environmental value of the burgeoning East Liberty corridor. Target indicates that this is the first store in the nation to have this feature.
“The ongoing process of community planning and development can only be completed with the support of our many funding and development partners,” said Maelene Myers, executive director of East Liberty Development, Inc. “It is a joyous day for the entire East End to welcome Target to our community.”
M&T Bank of New York and PNC Bank provided the majority of private capital, leveraging URA loans to the project. URA funding includes HUD and PA DCED funding. Local Initiative Support Corporation of New York (LISC), McCormack Barron Salazar of St. Louis, and PNC Bank provided New Market Tax Credits to leverage the gap-filling private equity investment. HUD and PA DCED funds
Mark Minnerly, The Mosites Company director of real estate development said, “Let’s face it, during these uncertain economic times the financing was our major and final hurdle. In today’s market place, many thought financing any retail project was nearly impossible. With the URA, HUD and DCED as financing partners and with the strength of Target as a tenant, we were able to secure our lead commitment from M&T Bank – a new player in East Liberty and newcomer to Pittsburgh.”
PNC Bank’s commitment of over $12 million in equity expands on their work in Eastside and East Liberty. LISC and McCormack Barron as financing partners also expand on already significant commitments to East Liberty. McCormack Barron is the developer of the Fairfield Project, the new housing development neighboring the project on Broad Street. LISC and its affiliate Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development have invested capital in East Liberty since the early 1980’s.
2-Way Conversion Project :
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
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Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687