Nov 13, 2007, 10:38 PM
$60M Chelsea moves forward on Centre, to bring Oakland's first rental units in 30 years
The Chelsea, a $60 million mixed-use project planned for the corner of Center Ave. and Craig St. in Oakland, is moving forward. Located on a 1.4-acre site that currently houses a Pittsburgh Parking Authority lot, the 17-story project will feature 300 rental units, commercial space and parking for 450 cars.
Project developer Guy Totino of Polaris Real Estate Equities is in the process of resolving zoning issues and variances with the city. “The city is very supportive. We’ve met with both neighborhood groups in Oakland and they’re both very supportive. It’s a question of how it’s going to get done, not whether it’s going to get done,” says Totino.
Units will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as loft-style studios. “The last new rental project built in Oakland was probably thirty-plus years ago. It’s an excellent site for mixed-use. The city has targeted it for residential. Oakland is vibrant, very dense and growing. The use complements the area,” adds Totino. “We've designed it to be very respectful of the streetscape, to make the retail fit the area. We’d love to attract some grocery use and a coffee shop—it’s a destination neighborhood.”
The project, which will have a Centre Ave. entrance, will continue onto N. Dithridge and Craig Sts. “It’s a corridor experiencing tremendous commercial growth, with everything that UPMC and CMU are doing. It’s taken us three years; we've had a lot of stamina. It fills a tremendous need,” adds Totino, who says that The Chelsea will be designed by MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Architects. Contractor is Massaro Corporation. The 24-month project is expected to break ground during the summer of 2008.
Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Guy Totino, Polaris Real Estate Equities
Photo courtesy of Polaris Real Estate Equities
Nov 24, 2007, 9:13 PM
Looks good! I'm glad that corner is going to be put to appropriate use for the area.
Nov 27, 2007, 1:03 AM
Nov 27, 2007, 2:54 AM
We just need a decent rendering now.
Mar 17, 2008, 3:55 AM
Oakland apartment complex a $60M vision
By Jeremy Boren
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
An Ohio developer is poised to demolish five decaying homes to build a 16-story apartment complex in the heart of Oakland at a cost of more than $60 million.
Guy Totino, president of Polaris Real Estate of Highland Heights, Ohio, said the neighborhood -- known for growing universities and technology companies -- needs an infusion of apartment space to fill demand.
"We think Oakland is the third-largest 'city' in Pennsylvania, behind Philly and Pittsburgh. There's a tremendous amount of growth in that corridor," he said, adding that significant rental space hasn't been added to the neighborhood in 35 years.
The 334-apartment development will be called The Chelsea and will feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.
About 25,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor of the building at North Craig Street and Centre Avenue likely will contain a specialty grocery store, Totino said.
An operator is being sought, he said.
Totino, a native of Brookline, plans to ask the city Planning Commission on April 25 to recommend necessary zoning changes to the area to allow the mix of commercial and residential space.
Pittsburgh City Council must vote to accept or reject the zoning changes after a public hearing is held.
The developer must replace 26 metered, public parking spaces where the complex is to be built, said David G. Onorato, executive director of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.
Totino said those spaces will be replaced, and 418 spaces of indoor parking will be available for residents on several lower floors above the building's first level.
Jeremy Boren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-765-2312.
Mar 18, 2008, 10:11 PM
This is great news!
Sep 24, 2008, 5:35 AM
Plans for The Chelsea, a 336-unit apartment building on Centre Avenue in Oakland, won the commission's final approval. The 16-story, $60 million complex will have 24,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, which developer Guy J. Totino, president of Polaris Real Estate Equities, said he hopes to fill with a small grocery store, coffee shop and a bank. Construction is set to start in June and take two years to complete, he said.
Feb 7, 2009, 2:54 AM
small update on The Chelsea in this article about another PGH project by the developer... I was afraid the project might be dead due to the global financial meltdown
Cleveland-based Polaris Real Estate Equities has sale agreement to buy Downtown Pittsburgh Salvation Army building
Pittsburgh Business Times - by Tim Schooley
Guy Totino’s new financial interest in redeveloping the Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Divisional headquarters building Downtown comes with plenty of old memories.
“When we were in grade school, we used to play basketball there in Saturday leagues,” said Totino of himself and his partner, Rob Vadas, Pittsburgh natives who now are principals of Polaris Real Estate Equities, based in suburban Cleveland. “We went from playing there as kids to having it under contract.”
Last week, Polaris reached an agreement of sale with the Salvation Army, which awaits approval from its national parent to finalize the deal. Expecting to pursue a lengthy 260-day due diligence before closing on the sale, Polaris sees strong potential to redevelop the nine-story, 93,000-square-foot building for new uses.
The project is the second Polaris is pursuing in the Pittsburgh area. A company that specializes in real estate development and housing that serves educational markets, Polaris expects to break ground on a 17-story apartment building called The Chelsea at the corner of Craig Street and Centre Avenue in Oakland in May. The apartments are expected to target professionals and academics who work nearby in the area’s universities and hospitals.
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Jun 3, 2009, 5:23 AM
Polaris Real Estate pays $4 million for ex-Salvation Army headquarters
By Rick Stouffer, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The Salvation Army said it sold its former headquarters, Downtown, for more than $4 million to Polaris Real Estate Equities Ltd., a Cleveland-based developer known for student housing projects.
Last December, the Salvation Army relocated its divisional operations out of the nine-story, 93,000-square-foot building on the Boulevard of the Allies and into a two-story, 36,500-square-foot building in the Carnegie Office Park in Carnegie that was renovated for its use.
Polaris partners Guy Totino and Rob Vadas, both former Pittsburgh-area residents, have hired Massaro Corp. of O'Hara to market the building, which includes a swimming pool, sanctuary and classrooms on its first three floors. Totino and Vadas could not be reached to comment.
In February, Polaris said it had an initial sales agreement to buy the building and that it had to wait for deal approval from The Salvation Army's Eastern Territorial Headquarters, in West Nyack, N.Y.
"We have a sales contract signed by our territorial headquarters, and it's now in the attorney's hands to settle things like a closing," Maj. Robert Reel, divisional commander, said Tuesday.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh previously had expressed interest in the building for student housing, but spokesperson Devra Pransky couldn't be reached for comment. Point Park University spokesperson Mary Ellen Solomon said her institution has had no contact with Polaris.
Reel said the organization hopes to settle soon on the purchase of a five-acre site in Mt. Lebanon, where a 20,000- 25,000-square-foot building will be constructed to hold its Pittsburgh Temple Corps worship and services center.
Polaris is moving ahead with the Chelsea, a 16-story, mixed-use building located at the southwest corner of North Craig Street and Centre Avenue in Oakland, according to its Web site. When completed, the building will include 334 apartments with 703 bedrooms, 414 parking spaces and about 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Chelsea information from Polaris web site
The Chelsea is a proposed class A, 16 story urban mixed use project to be built on approximately 1.4 acres of land located at the southwest corner of North Crag Street and Centre Avenue in the North Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. When completed, The Chelsea Apartments will include 334 apartments (703 bedrooms), 414 structured parking spaces and approximately 25,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Amenities will include high end apartment finishes, sophisticated building security including security cameras covering all common areas and electronic controlled building access, swimming pool, gym and community rooms. The building will be conveniently located next to University of Pittsburgh shuttle bus line and will have excellent access to downtown Pittsburgh via nearby Bigelow Boulevard.
17 pages of plans:
Jul 18, 2009, 2:36 PM
I hope this building is pink in the rendering only, not the actual construction.
Jul 20, 2009, 7:53 PM
and that the garage doesn't look as hideous as it does in that last render...
Jul 20, 2009, 10:59 PM
Larger drawings from the developers website:
Looks to be about 200-210 ft at its tallest point based on 12ft per floor x17 floors.
Some sick aerials showing the site:
Jul 20, 2009, 11:06 PM
Actually, The Chelsea looks like a larger version of the Morrowfield Building (which is only 8 stories) in Squirrel Hill (located directly overtop of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel):
Photo Credit: Evergrey
Jul 22, 2009, 11:05 PM
Last month I exchanged a couple of e-mails with Polaris Real Estate Equities as to the time of the groundbreaking. They were kind enough to respond, but only allowed that they "hope to start this fall." I'll go along with the theory that no news is good news and assume this is true since I haven't heard anything in the mainstream media about it getting delayed. Still, I am a little cautious about this going forward with the credit markets as they are.
Nov 2, 2009, 11:41 PM
I drove by the site yesterday and still nothing. Perhaps a victim of the credit crunch.......
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