Tube City Almanac

February 02, 2010

Lysle Blvd. Parking Garage Could Go on Block


A longtime Downtown eyesore could be demolished in the near future.

Council is expected to vote Wednesday night to transfer the four-and-a-half story Lysle Boulevard parking garage to the city's Redevelopment Authority.

The transfer --- discussed at a council work session Tuesday night --- would be the first step toward selling the site to a private developer, who city officials said would likely level the 440-space garage, built in 1959.

. . .

Located on a 1.4-acre lot between Tube Works Alley and Locust Street, the garage is assessed at $1.9 million, according to Allegheny County tax records.

But cars have not been allowed to use the structure since 1999, when falling chunks of concrete damaged several vehicles. At the time, former Mayor Joseph Bendel said the garage needed between $800,000 and $1.5 million in repairs to remain open to the public.

Some repairs were made to stablize the facility, and since then, the lower levels have been used for storage of construction equipment and boats from McKees Point Marina.

. . .

Citing confidentiality concerns, officials would not comment either on or off the record on possible buyers for the parking garage.

"Some of these investors will walk away if they think we're disclosing their business," Mayor James Brewster told council Tuesday night. "It is not a done deal, but I think (council) is going to be very pleased."

However, third parties unconnected with the city have told the Almanac that one potential buyer could be the Tribune-Review Publishing Co., parent company of the McKeesport Daily News and a string of suburban weeklies currently based in Monroeville.

. . .

In June 2008, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported that Tribune-Review Publishing was looking at McKeesport as the possible site for a satellite printing operation that would consolidate four older plants.

The Daily News' current printing plant, built in the 1930s, is located next to the Lysle parking garage. Squeezed between railroad tracks and Lysle Boulevard, it lacks a parking lot or any room to expand.

City officials Tuesday night would not speculate either publicly or privately on those rumors.

. . .

"There are actually several parties who are interested in it," Brewster said. "I can tell you I'm really excited about it, but when you're dealing with real estate matters, all of these things are confidential."

At least one councilman Tuesday night questioned whether the city should transfer any properties to the Redevelopment Authority without knowing who the eventual buyer will be.

"I'd like to see the caveats first," said Councilman Darryl Segina, who added he regrets approving the transfer of the Midtown Plaza Mall to Pittsburgh developer Barry Stein.

Although Stein demolished the Midtown parking deck over Fifth Avenue and renovated several storefronts, the rest of the redevelopment has stalled.

"When I voted for it, I didn't realize it was going to be a 25-year project," Segina said.

. . .

Any reuse of the Lysle Boulevard site would have to be approved by council, and possibly by the Zoning Hearing Board and the Planning Commission, city Administrator Dennis Pittman told councilors Tuesday night.

"The final disposition has to come back to council for its OK," he said. "You will get full disclosure at that time, and the opportunity (whether) to vote yes."

Council meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the public safety building, 201 Lysle Blvd.

Feedback on “Lysle Blvd. Parking Garage Could Go on Block”

Business moving out of Monroeville and into McKeesport – music to my ears! I love it.
John M. - February 02, 2010

Multiple parties interested in this one small parcel in downtown? Most of the stretch between downtown ans Cristy Park has already been levelled. Can we maybe show these parties around a little?

But you’re right. It is an eyesore. At the least taking it down will finally allow us to see what’s behind it.
susanlu - February 03, 2010

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