Developer moves to add apartments Downtown

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A Philadelphia developer is gearing up to do more apartment building Downtown.

After winning approval from the city planning commission in July to convert floors 11 to 23 of the Clark Building on Liberty Avenue into apartments, PMC Property Group is back for more.

The company will brief the planning commission Tuesday on a proposal to turn five lower floors -- 5 to 11 -- into one- and two-bedroom apartments, roughly 84 in all.

Before it could do the lower floors, PMC had to secure a variance from the city zoning board of adjustment. Without the variance, it would have been limited in the number of rentals it could build at the site.

The new apartments will supplement the 144 one- and two-bedroom units PMC is building on the upper floors. When both projects are finished, the Clark Building will hold 228 apartments.

PMC purchased the property for $7 million in March after winning the rights to it in an online auction.

The 85-year-old building had been owned by Singularity Clark LP, which paid $22.5 million for it in 2006.

The developer intends to use the first four floors of the building for retail and office space. Some office tenants now on the fifth and sixth floors will be relocated to lower floors.

Louise Giordano, PMC's senior vice president of operations, said the company hopes to have all of the units completed by July 2014. She did not know what the rental rates would be.

PMC currently is trying to rent the 72 units it has in the Jackman Building at 526 Penn Ave., which it bought last year. Ms. Giordano said 42 of those have been leased.

The developer also is converting the James Reed Building on Sixth Avenue into a 249-room Hotel Monaco and the upper half of the Regional Enterprise Tower next door into apartments.

It also has built and leased 25 apartment units in a building at 908 Penn Ave. and has converted the Verizon building on Stanwix Street into 158 apartments and a charter school.

PMC also has plans to turn the former Pittsburgh Schenley High School into 178 luxury one- and two-bedroom apartments, a $36.9 million project.


Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.

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