Double vision: Hudson presents plan for two companion apartment projects in Strip District

Hermitage-based Hudson Companies’ next apartment redevelopment in Pittsburgh is technically shaping up as two projects in one.

After the firm recently previewed the projects at a Strip District community meeting, Hudson presented two projects slated for the 2900 block of Smallman Street to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission in a briefing slated in advance of a hearing vote expected to come on the projects in a couple weeks.

The two projects represent the redevelopment of two neighboring industrial buildings, one the former Gateway Paints and Chemical Co. building at 2929 Smallman St., the other the one-time T&T Metals industrial shed at 6 30th St.

Jonathan Hudson, a principal of his family-owned company, introduced the presentation by showing
how the two properties were situated next to each other:

As his company works to build its Julian project on Melwood Avenue in Oakland, Hudson said the company, which builds its own projects, hopes to start demolition in late summer and build the two company projects on an 18- to 20-month construction schedule, pending approvals.

“It would be our intention to move forward with construction as soon as possible,” he said.

Ryan Indovina, a principal for Indovina Associates Architects, the designer for the project whose office is just a few blocks away, told the commission the development is technically two projects and two independent presentations, starting with 2929 Smallman first.

Hudson’s new project is slated to reach six stories and a little more than 75 feet in height.

Indovina emphasized the project is designed to be by right and within the zoning parameters. Part of that, he explained, includes using the bonus point system for the site within the riverfront zoning district, or RIV, in which the plan’s design includes making its first floor parking convertible to other uses.

The 2929 Smallman project is expected to total 105 units, with one parking space per unit as well as 70 bike parking units as well.

Noting how neighbors hoped for the project to add to the street life along Smallman, Hudson added there’s no plans for retail space in the building but there will be some first-floor residential units.

While the two projects are being prepared,
demolished and built largely at the same time,
Indovina emphasized they are being designed not to totally match, either, detailing different designs elements to set them apart.

The project for 6 30th St. is expected to total 129 apartments, with a parking space for each and 46 bike parking spaces.

The six-story project for 30th Street extends along the railroad tracks and Railroad Street next to it, bringing more residents to a once fully industrial street now already the home of such projects as the Cork Factory Lofts and the Yards at 3 Crossings.

Indovina said the design approach was for a “transitional warehouse appearance with modern touches.”

The planning commission expressed very little criticism about the comparison projects.

Ryan Indovina presents Hudson Companies’ design for its new apartment project at 6 30th Street in the Strip District, noting the differing details from the other project at 2929 Smallman, in a briefing before the Pittsburgh Planning Commission.


Hudson said the project has a letter of support from the Strip District Neighbors and that the development team has worked to incorporate feedback from neighboring property owners into the plan.

The total of 234 units is by a firm that builds its own projects amid a Smallman Street that continues to sprout new residential projects up and down it, including right across the street from the Hudson plans at 2926 Smallman.

In other matters, UPMC briefed the commission on its plan to build a new $62 million, 50,000-square-foot heart institute onto one of its parking garages at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville.