Oxford planning to break ground on Three Crossings soon

Tim Schooley – Reporter- Pittsburgh Business Times

Oxford Development Co. is itching to get started on its Three Crossings project in the Strip District, and plans to start construction on it in a little more than a month.

Shawn Fox, director of business development for downtown-based Oxford, gave a pretty short list of items the company needs to take care of when I caught up with him on the phone about the project.

The company is working to finalize its branding for the new apartments, said Fox, who added the company is working to get approval to get government approval for a LERTA, a tax abatement program.

“You’re going to have an amazing new corridor in the city that when it’s finished that connects downtown to Lawrenceville, which I think is the vision of the Green Boulevard,” said Fox.

Oxford’s biggest project is its plans for a new office tower at 350 Fifth Ave. downtown, a 20-story building smaller than the previous tower it planned for the location. But don’t underestimate the scale of Three Crossings.

Three Crossings includes a 299-unit apartment building along with 250,000 square feet of office space along with a multimodal garage with 700 parking spaces. With some companion retail also part of the plan, Oxford is working with 11 acres of property it has under agreement with Chuck Hammel, president of Strip District-based Pitt Ohio Express.

The total cost of the development Oxford reported to the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is $122 million.

Fox said the 220,000-square-foot apartment building will be developed on four acres and feature nearly an acre of open space on the river among the project’s amenities.

“I don’t know that you’ll be able to duplicate that in the city,” he said.

The company will break ground on the apartments and a first office building in the next month or so but Oxford is still waiting to hear on whether it will receive state funding to build the garage.

Oxford can meet the parking requirements for one office building and the apartments without a garage, but said Oxford can’t go forward with the rest of the project without a garage, implying that it won’t pay for the garage itself.

“We could build approximately another 200-plus hundred thousand square feet of office with the addition of the transportation center garage,” he said.

How big Three Crossings will be remains to be determined. But look for construction to start soon on a major development for the Strip District.

Tim Schooley covers retail, real estate, construction, hospitality, arts and entertainment, and government. Contact him at tschooley@bizjournals.com or 412-208-3826.