Century Building Adds Affordable Housing to Lively Cultural District
With the help of a $7 million investment in low-income housing and historic tax credits from PNC Real Estate, Pittsburgh developer William Gatti of TREK Development has transformed an historic office building into the newest jewel in Pittsburgh's downtown Cultural District. The 12-story Century Building with its stately terra cotta, brick and stone fašade, overlooks Katz Plaza, the heart of downtown's lively cluster of theatres and restaurants.
The building's lower three floors continue to house a popular eatery and office space. The upper nine floors have been converted into 60 loft-style studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Thirty of the units are affordable for households with incomes below 60% of the area median. The remaining thirty are "workforce" apartments with higher income restrictions and rents that are a minimum of 10% below market. The property tapped into unmet demand for affordable downtown housing and apartments were leased several months ahead of schedule.
The financing of the Century Building was the result of a community effort that brought together two non-profit and two public lenders. Pittsburgh's Strategic Investment Fund provided a $2.8MM amortizing first mortgage, while the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority, and the Allegheny County Department of Community and Economic Development were able to invest an additional $6.7MM of soft loan funds payable only from available net cash flow.
With the Century Building completed and well occupied, lighted apartment windows now overlook Katz Plaza where there was once a blank wall. TREK Development is now planning to redevelop two historic buildings right around the corner with the same proven mix of attractive affordable apartments.