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Development News

Highland and Wallace buildings' redevelopment underway in East Liberty

After 25 years of vacancy, the Historic Highland and Wallace buildings in East Liberty are under renovation and will once again offer housing and retail opportunities to the community.  Construction began Monday on the 103-year-old complex, which is being converted to 129 apartments, 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and will include a 180-car parking garage.

Earlier this month, the URA approved the transfer of the properties to Highland Wallace Joint Venture, a development partnership which includes Walnut Capital and Massaro Properties.

Gregg Perelman, of Walnut Capital, says the work is to be “100% historic renovation,” and will restore the exteriors and interiors of both structures.  Built by Henry Clay Frick in 1909, the Highland Building was designed by Daniel Burnham, and placed on the National Register of Historic Properties in 1991.

Last year, the development hinged on two key funding components: a $4.5 million grant from the state for construction of a parking garage, and federal financing from HUD, both of which the project received.

The project is on a 14-month timeline, with the first rental units to be available by June 1st, 2013.

The apartments will feature oversized windows, stone counter tops, stainless steel appliances, high ceilings, and a washer and dryer in each unit.  The units will primarily be 1-bedroom apartments, however a few 2-bedroom units will be available.

And in nearby Larimer, the Larimer Consensus Group is inviting residents to participate in the Larimer Avenue Corridor "Vision to Action" Kick Off Event.  This will be the first in a planning series focusing on the transformation of the Larimer neighborhood.  Among many issues, the consensus group is looking for ideas on housing, education, safety, health, and commercial development.  Thursday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m., the Kingsley Association (6435 Frankstown Avenue).
 

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Gregg Perelman, Walnut Properties
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