Oxford Development Co. is working to expand its holdings in the Strip District with a key riverfront property.
The company is negotiating to buy what will soon be the former Easter Seals building, a property that includes a 76,000-square-foot structure on 2.28 acres of land that includes 250 feet of frontage on the Allegheny River.
The property at 2525 Railroad St., which has served for 10 years as the home of the Easter Seals of Western Pennsylvania, is just across 26th Street from where Oxford is currently building its 300-unit apartment project called The Yards and would add to the company’s $130 million mixed-use Three Crossings development under way along Smallman and Railroad streets.
Jeff Kumer, principal of Cedarhurst Enterprises LP, the owner of the property, could not be reached for comment.
Megan Stearman, a spokeswoman for Oxford, confirmed in an email that the company is incorporating the property into its Three Crossings development and expects to develop two new office buildings on the site of what is now a low-rise industrial building.
She said two buildings will be part of the total of 375,000 square feet of offices Oxford has previously announced it expects to build within Three Crossings, a mixed-use plan that has grown from 11 acres to about 16 acres.
Oxford’s plan to redevelop the Easter Seals property, at one time a storage facility for Pittsburgh National Bank, a precursor to what is now PNC Financial Services Group Inc., will eliminate the only industrial structure between the company’s Yards project and its riverfront neighbors on the other side, the Crane building, an office property, and the Cork Factory Lofts.
What is now known as Easter Seals of Western and Central Pennsylvania Inc. after a recent merger is expected to leave the building in the fourth quarter of this year for a new 6,000-square-foot office for its administrative personnel in a location let to be determined.
“We’re in the market,” said Pete Licastro, president of Point Bridge Realty Advisors LLC, and a board member of the nonprofit, who is representing Easter Seals in its search. “We’re evaluating a couple of relocation options for their corporate administrative office.”
He added the Easter Seals will be leaving behind the printing operation it operated at 2525 Railroad St., where it formerly printed calendars, as the organization also works to consolidate some education programs in other locations.
Cedarhurst has marketed the property, which county records indicate has a 2015 assessed value of $2.47 million, for sale in the past.
In 2007, he shopped it around at a list price of $6.9 million without following through on any sale.
Stearman declined to comment on a potential closing date on the property for Oxford and didn’t offer a date for construction on the new projects to replace the industrial building.
Rich Beynon, president of downtown Pittsburgh-based Beynon & Co., a real estate firm active in the Strip, saw obvious logic in Oxford buying the property since it expands the footprint for Three Crossings and allows room for expansion.
“It makes a lot of sense for them to acquire that piece,” he said.