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Buncher Out, New Developers To Be Considered For Strip District’s Produce Terminal

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh Thursday voted to terminate a contract with the Buncher Company for possible redevelopment of the Produce Terminal in the Strip District. The URA then voted to negotiate with two separate entities over the next 90 days about possible development.

One of those is McCaffery Interests of Chicago.

“We’re gonna have approximately 20,000 square feet of office,” said Clayton McCaffery, managing director. “On the second levels, roughly 35,000 square feet of retail space, approximately 118 residential units, including about 14 live/work lofts and approximately 223 parking spaces.”

The other option is Rubino Partners of Pittsburgh, which proposes an all-retail space for the building.

URA member Sen. Jim Ferlo abstained from voting, but he voiced displeasure at the proposal. He said in the 30 years he’s been around, he’s never seen a resolution with two developers. URA Board Chair and Mayor Bill Peduto’s Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin said, “We are doing things a little differently.”

McCaffery said he couldn’t comment on whether this means his firm and Rubino would work together, or if this changes McCaffery Interests’ plans.

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross, who represents the Strip District, applauded the authorization to enter into negotiations. She said the Produce Terminal and its future has become an emotional issue for Pittsburghers.

“We feel like it’s part of our Pittsburgh,” said Gross, “so I’m enthusiastic about the proposal to look for some option to find a financially viable and sustainable plan that also preserves public space.”

The URA and McCaffery and Rubino will have 90 days to negotiate with an option for an extension for the sale of the terminal.

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