SEA grants another extension to North Shore hotel developer

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This is one check-in that’s taking forever.

Developer Federal Street Hospitality Associates LP has won yet more time to get started on the construction of a proposed Holiday Inn Express and Suites hotel to be built on Federal Street near PNC Park.

Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority board members voted unanimously Thursday to give Federal Street, which is affiliated with Kratsa Properties, until June 12 to begin the 10-story, 135-room project.

It is the fifth extension Federal Street has received since it entered into a development agreement with the SEA in 2009. Under the last extension, the developer was to have had the project started by April 23.

Mary Conturo, SEA executive director, said she is confident Federal Street will be able to meet the new deadline. It has hired a new construction manager, has completed construction plans and has filed a revised minority and women’s business enterprise plan with the city, she said.

“It really appears that they are very close to actually being able to start construction,” Ms. Conturo said.

Kratsa officials could not be reached for comment.

As a result of the repeated delays, the developer has agreed to contribute $31,500 over the next three years to a fund used to maintain the North Shore riverfront park. 

The SEA also has been keeping the revenue generated by the site, which currently is used for parking. That revenue will amount to nearly $11,000 between April 23 and June 12, the SEA stated.

The agency sold the land to Federal Street in anticipation of the construction. The site is located about a block from PNC Park and is adjacent to the SEA’s North Shore Garage.

The Holiday Inn is not the first hotel in the city Kratsa has had trouble getting started.

In 2007, it reached a deal with the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority to build a five- to six-story, $15 million hotel at the Pittsburgh Technology Center in South Oakland. That 142-room project never got off the ground and the URA eventually rescinded the firm’s development rights and hired a new developer last year.

The same year, Kratsa proposed building a 156-room Hilton Garden Inn at the site of the former county jail annex on Ross Street. That project has yet to break ground and the land currently is used for parking.

Mark Belko: or 412-263-1262.

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