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Construction On Target’s Store In Downtown Pittsburgh Could Begin In Mid-January

Image courtesy of Desmone Architects
A rendering of the store presented at the Planning Commission meeting on Dec. 08 2020.

Target plans to build a 20,034 square foot store on the first floor of the Kaufmann’s building in downtown Pittsburgh. As long as the company receives its building permit and wins approval from the city’s Planning Commission, construction could start in mid-January.Renderings prepared for the Department of City Planning show pedestrians peering into big, bright windows on both Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue.

During a presentation to the Planning Commission, Target architect Doug Bartolomeo said both his company and Lawrenceville-based Desmone Architects want to honor the building’s history.

“The reverence for this building and the clock, and the Kaufmann’s history,” said Bartolomeo. “The citizen shopping experience of looking through display windows.”

Two brothers started Kaufmann’s Department Store on Pittsburgh’s South Side — then the municipality of Birmingham — in 1871 before expanding to downtown in 1878. Generations of Pittsburghers used the building’s ornate four-sided clock as a meeting place. Macy’s replaced Kaufmann’s in 2005 before closing in 2015.

Philadelphia-based Core Realty purchased the building that year and planned a redevelopment called Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth, with a plan for residential apartments, retail, and parking. The project met with all sorts of problems, and two other developers came on this fall to help complete it: Lubert Adler Partners LP of Philadelphia and Chicago-based Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners.

In addition to Target, the Post-Gazette reported the two companies are working to find retail tenants for the rest of the first floor and for the second floor, and would like to add a skating rink on the roof.

Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission will vote on Target’s plans at its meeting on Jan. 12, 2021.

Margaret J. Krauss is WESA’s senior reporter. She covers development and transportation, and has produced award-winning podcasts on housing, work, and Pittsburgh’s lesser-known history. Before joining the newsroom full time, she covered the challenges facing Pennsylvania cities as a statewide reporter, and spent another life as an assistant editor for National Geographic Kids Magazine in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at
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