Hotel proposed for Strip District

Developer planning 150-room facility

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Another hotel is taking shape in the shadow of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Developer Walnut Capital is proposing a 150-room Homewood Suites by Hilton next to Lidia's restaurant at 1400 Smallman St. in the Strip District.

Gregg Perelman, Walnut Capital managing partner, said the developer plans to demolish a vacant building at the site to make room for the eight-story hotel.

"It's been a tough development for 10 years because we haven't been able to keep a viable tenant there," he said.

The new hotel will cost more than $20 million and will feature amenities such as an indoor pool, a bocce court, a fitness center and an outdoor dining area. There also will be underground and first-floor parking for guests.

Walnut Capital will be teaming with Concord Hospitality on the venture.

"I think there's still pent-up demand for these types of limited-service hotels. It has a first-class restaurant next door. It's going to help feed that," Mr. Perelman said. "It's a good price and a good value and we believe the demand is there. It's a good way to take a project and do a makeover."

Walnut Capital will brief the city planning commission on the project Tuesday. Also that day, the commission will hear about plans for a proposed 600-space parking garage at the site of former Saks department store. The venture also includes 25,000 square feet of retail. Giant Eagle is said to be considering that space for a store.

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


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