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Restoration Plans for the Crescent Apartment Building Take Shape

Abandoned years ago, the Crescent Apartments, and the smaller Wilson apartment building nearby, are “key to the revitalization of the area,” as determined by the Wilkinsburg Neighborhood Transformation Initiative Plan and community groups. Allegheny County recently acquired the apartment buildings and is working with Landmarks to create a development plan for both.

The handsome, three-story, 31,000-square-foot Crescent building from the early 1900s is architecturally significant with its unique crescent-shaped exterior and elegant classical detailing. The building acts as a gateway to the Hamnett Place area, shielding the streets behind it and helping to create a quiet enclave.

Eugene Matta, director of real estate and special development programs at Landmarks, said that “There is an enormous cost to this redevelopment project because of long-term disuse.

In order to restore the apartment buildings, a variety of financial tools will be needed, including low-income housing tax credits administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The total project cost may reach $10 million.” It is estimated that the project will have about 27 units with a mix of one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units. All units will have a cap on rental rates so they are affordable.

An important aspect of tax-credit projects is the social services component. In order to give individuals and families a better chance at achieving greater economic independence and advancement, a detailed social services plan will be developed as part of the project tax-credit application. The plan will coordinate the work of many local organizations to provide services such as education, job training, and other enrichment activities.

To ensure the success of the project, Landmarks has put together an experienced development team. Mullin & Lonergan Associates are the tax-credit consultants; Landmarks Design Associates is the architect; and Sota Construction is the general contractor for the project.

The tax-credit application for the Crescent project is being submitted to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the state organization that administers this program, on April 13th. “We are in the most competitive region of the five regions in Pennsylvania for the tax-credit allocation, but we are confident about our plan, knowing the tremendous community impact it could have,” said Eugene. Landmarks will hear if its tax-credit application is approved in the fall.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633