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Along Southside Beltline corridor, huge project aims to foster neighborhood businesses

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Pittsburgh Yards will transform a 31-acre tract into a buzzing neighborhood commercial hub, plans state

A large paved expanse, surrounded by trees and neighborhoods.
The development site, with the Beltline corridor in the foreground and downtown beyond.
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This past weekend, construction began on a major project slated to transform a large tract of land in the Pittsburgh neighborhood, south of downtown.

Sited at 352 University Avenue and fronting the future Southside Beltline Trail, the project—billed as Pittsburgh Yards—will bring major changes to the 31-acre, former industrial site and could be a shot in the arm for the area.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is spearheading the initiative, following more than a decade of planning. The mixed-use project, leaders hope, will “develop an economic catalyst in an area where living-wage jobs and economic opportunities are scarce.”

A rendering of the new central building.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

A groundbreaking on Saturday marked the start of the project’s first phase.

Now, work will include the creation of a “commercial village with a wide variety of tenants” and an urban business park. The sole remaining structure on the site will be adaptively reused for a small business space and maker hub “intended to fuel entrepreneurship and job creation at a grassroots level.” It will also eventually house the Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site office.

Other additions include new roads, sewer and stormwater management infrastructure, and pedestrian amenities. A spur will connect to the future Beltline and additional access points to and from the Pittsburgh neighborhood.

A multipurpose green space will also be created, along with three adaptable, pad-ready sites for future businesses, officials said.

A rendering of the redevelopment dream for the former brownfield site.
An aerial overview of the planned development.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

According to the organization, the site started as farming land for Clark College’s agricultural department, before becoming the largest trucking terminal in the world in 1951.

After acquiring the property in 2006 to spur development in the neighborhood, the foundation demolished dilapidated structures, engaged residents in an extensive planning process, and conducted environmental studies.

Expect work to ramp up in coming months.