Pittsburgh – Day 1 (before the wedding) (14 of 30), a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Phong Nguyen’s photostream

Chicago developer McCaffery Interests and the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority have inked an agreement to redevelop the Strip District’s historic produce terminal, starting with a public market. The market place will feature local and regional businesses that will include food, crafts and the arts.

Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Kevin Acklin, chief of staff for Mayor Bill Peduto, said the agreement sets the stage for a $62.6 million development designed to turn a dilapidated and nearly vacant warehouse into a “public jewel for the city.”

“We’re very pleased to move forward with what we believe to be a transformational development for the Strip District and for the city,” he said.

It took three years to bring to fruition a “best of both worlds” deal for the City and the developer. McCaffery will pay the asking price of $2.5 million and sign a 99 year lease, with the potential to buy the terminal after 15 years.

Smallman Street of Pittsburgh, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from somenametoforget’s photostream

The developer plans to eventually include offices, service businesses, and entertainment venues in the iconic landmark. They’ve also proposed creating pedestrian walkways through the building at 17th, 18th and 20th streets for easy access to the Allegheny River. Improvements to Smallman Street will also be an important part of the development plans.

According to the P-G:

Since the long-term lease is being used for commercial purposes, McCaffery will pay real estate taxes on the building, which currently does not generate any tax revenue.

In addition to keeping the building in public hands, the city, Mr. Acklin said, was able to negotiate seven other conditions that it considered to be priorities, including the public market, commitments to using local or regional vendors, the first-refusal rights, and keeping long-time tenant Society for Contemporary Craft in the terminal.

You can read more details about the deal at the Post-Gazette article here.