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Shuttered N. Point Breeze Firehouse Draws Interest

By Adam Brandolph
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Last updated: 10:22 am

A former firehouse and Pittsburgh police training center at the corner of Penn and North Lang avenues was opened up this morning for potential buyers to get a look in Point Breeze. James Knox/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

High ceilings, plenty of garage space, a classroom and a shooting range.

City officials believe Engine House No. 16 will make a great renovation.

“We want to see proposals, but we don’t have a preconceived notion of what we’re looking for,”said Claire Hosteny, senior real estate development specialist for the Urban Redevelopment Authority. “We’re just really excited because of the potential impact it could have on the neighborhood.”

Officials are seeking a buyer of the two-story brick building, located at North Lang and Penn avenues in North Point Breeze. About 30 people attended a tour of the property this morning.

The request for proposals can be found online at Bids are due Oct. 22.

The 6,500-square-foot building, which dates to the early 1900s, was last used as a firehouse in the late ’80s or early ’90s and has since been used as a police and fire training area. It is appraised at $90,000.

Eric Townsend of Forest Hills said the building’s nonexistent parking would be a problem if he decided to turn it into a nonprofit art studio.

“I’m just looking at everything and trying to get an idea of what’s available,” Townsend said.

Some architects and other potential investors touring the building said it would likely cost upward of $500,000 to renovate, but costs would fluctuate depending on what was done.

“I’ve never seen a turnout like this for a city property before,” said Michael Whartnaby of Point Breeze. “There’s definitely an interest.”

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