Author: Amanda Waltz, NEXT Pittsburgh
The former site of a Pitt Ohio Express truck yard in the Strip District is now home to The Yards, a 300-unit apartment complex that combines Pittsburgh’s natural beauty with its industrial past. On April 1, the new building welcomed the first tenants with many more to follow as construction continues.
Situated along the Allegheny River on Railroad Street, The Yards offers numerous indoor and outdoor amenities, including an acre of fenced-in green space, a large terrace with communal dining areas, and access to Riverfront Park and the Riverpark Trail. The project is the result of a partnership between Oxford Development and the management company McCaffery Interests, a Chicago-based entity also responsible for two other Strip District rental properties, the Cork Factory Lofts and Lot 24.
The Yards will officially debut in August with an invitation-only grand opening. So far, over 20 percent of the available apartments, which include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units priced between $1,095 and $2,570 a month, have been leased.
“We’ve attracted a very diverse group of people, which has been wonderful,” says Pamela Austin, a senior project manager of development at McCaffery Interests. “There are people who want a pied-à-terre in the city who live in the suburbs, there are workers relocating into Pittsburgh, there are students, there are young professionals. We have all of that.”
In addition to providing luxury living space, The Yards also satisfies Oxford Development’s commitment to sustainability. The complex boasts LEED certification with features such as solar panels on the roof and water-conserving fixtures in each apartment.
“We definitely think people have an environmentally-conscious concern,” says Austin. “We were very excited about having those aspects to the building.”
Austin, who served as development consultant on the project, says The Yards and McCaffery Interests are community-minded with plans to involve neighborhood businesses in weekly social events to help residents develop relationships with stores and services in the neighborhood. The new tenants were welcomed with an event catered by Savoy, a nearby restaurant on Penn Avenue.
The Yards also showcases local artists and artisans in its décor. Pittsburgh Zoo mural artist Maria DeSimone Prascak was commissioned to do a pet mural in the on-site dog washroom, the terrace is adorned with decorative metal panels from Peter Lambert of Red Star Ironworks, and James Gallery will contribute custom railroad-inspired pieces to go on display throughout the building.