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Increasing Residential Options Supports Vision for a Downtown of the Future

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With multiple residential real estate options, living in downtown Pittsburgh can foster a more dynamic, sought-after downtown economy.

90%

residential occupancy rate in downtown Pittsburgh

9,043

residential units in greater downtown Pittsburgh

1,596

units currently in the downtown residential real estate pipeline

We understand that to create a true downtown neighborhood with diverse housing options and amenities to support residents and a vision for a downtown of the future, actions need to be taken.

As the nation’s 28th largest metro with the fifth highest concentration of downtown office space in the United States, downtown Pittsburgh is highly dependent on commercial and office real estate. As we move forward and our downtown evolves, more residential real estate options being converted or constructed will bring more opportunities for people to move into the downtown area, including affordable housing options for residents.

A thriving residential district in the downtown area ensures a continuous influx of pedestrian traffic, providing essential support to nearby retailers, services, restaurants and other businesses. The distinctive blend of retail, office and entertainment facilities in a downtown area places residents within walking distance of most daily activities, allowing economic activity to remain concentrated in that space as well. Introducing a higher density of residents to the downtown landscape contributes to an elevated level of activity, fostering an even more dynamic and sought-after downtown economy.

Despite the challenges in recent years, the residential market in downtown Pittsburgh has demonstrated resilience, with the downtown residential population experiencing steady growth over the past decade, and the residential occupancy rate in downtown Pittsburgh remaining steady for the past two years, hovering around 90% occupied.

Presently, the greater downtown Pittsburgh area boasts a total of 9,043 residential units, encompassing rentals, condominiums and affordable housing. Additionally, there are 7,542 units in the development pipeline, comprising those under construction or in the planning and conceptualization stages. Focusing specifically on downtown, there are 1,596 units currently in the residential real estate pipeline, and 21% of that inventory will be ready for occupancy in the coming years.

These opportunities were recently highlighted in the Views & Brew Tour, hosted by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership in October. This tour showcased the very best residential properties downtown has to offer, coupled with craft beer tastings from some of the city’s local breweries. Nearly 200 attendees toured featured buildings like Encore Apartments, Century Building, Eighth & Penn, Kaufmann's Grand on Fifth, The Residences at the Historic Alcoa Building, MaGinn Lofts, Lumiere, Piatt Place Downtown and Market Square Place.

While these facilities offer move-in-ready residential options, other buildings throughout downtown are beginning to undergo residential conversion projects. Downtown’s residential market is showing strong growth, presenting an opportunity to diversify downtown’s building stock and create new opportunities for the community with both luxury apartments and affordable housing. The future of downtown Pittsburgh is a priority, and as such, organizations are supporting reinvestment in our downtown to bolster the vibrancy of our city and to avoid millions of dollars in lost tax revenue as office buildings continue to have a lower occupancy rate.

The Downtown Tax Abatement Program, which provides incentives to developers who convert vacant downtown office space into apartments, was recently approved by the Pittsburgh Public School’s Board of Directors. This decision sends the signal that our region understands the complexities of the challenges we face, and we are ready to confront these challenges in the tried-and-true Pittsburgh way by collaborating and working together to ensure Pittsburgh rises once again. To enact this program, it must be approved by all three taxing bodies – the school district, the city and the county.

We are at a pivotal moment where our public and private partners must develop the necessary strategies and tools to create a vital, vibrant, resilient center of economic and cultural activity for all who live, work and visit downtown – and for our future generations.

Source and Story Contributor: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

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