Parking garage discussed for former Saks site in Downtown Pittsburgh


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The Pittsburgh Parking Authority today said it wants to work with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to develop a new parking garage at the former Saks Fifth Avenue site Downtown.

The board gave executive director David Onorato permission to study the feasibility of the project and to enter negotiations with the URA, which last week said it's buying the building for $4 million.

"This is an ideal site, centrally located Downtown," Mr. Onorato said.

Board members said a development surge Downtown -- and looming cuts to bus funding -- will fuel demand for the additional spaces.

To be determined, Mr. Onorato said, is which authority ultimately will own the site and pay for garage construction. He said the parking authority likely would have to float a bond to pay for construction.

Although the URA cited the possibility of 500 spaces, Mr. Onorato said the garage's size also remains to be determined. In addition to the Saks site, he said, the URA owns or has an option on four adjoining properties.

The authority also voted to launch a pilot parking project with East Liberty Development Inc. between four and six months.

The hourly rate at two authority lots in the neighborhood will be lowered from $1 to 50 cents in an effort to create more turnover at on-street meters. The hourly rate for on-street meters is 75 cents.

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Joe Smydo: jsmydo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1548.


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