The Pittsburgh Yards site and the surrounding neighborhood have a rich history. Prior to any development, Clark College’s agricultural department used it as farmland. Following that, the Great Southern Trucking Terminal was built; when it opened in 1951, it was the second largest trucking terminal in the world.
Today’s kids will create tomorrow’s prosperity. To help them succeed, we must ensure all children are able to grow up in thriving communities that nurture their development and support the financial stability of their families. For far too long, Atlanta’s systems, institutions and infrastructure have left residents in the predominantly black neighborhoods of Adair Park, Capitol Gateway, Mechanicsville, Peoplestown, Pittsburgh and Summerhill—often referred to as Neighborhood Planning Unit V (NPU-V)—isolated from the educational, employment and business opportunities necessary for them to fully contribute to, and benefit from, the city’s growing economy. As a result, the unemployment and poverty rates in these neighborhoods are disproportionately higher than in the city’s wealthier, majority-white neighborhoods. That’s part of a broader trend: The unemployment rate for black residents in the city of Atlanta hovers around 12.7 percent, compared to 2.8 percent for white residents.
The transformation of Pittsburgh Yards is an unprecedented opportunity to change that picture and spur a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for residents of color in NPU-V and other southwest Atlanta neighborhoods.
Located near many of the city’s other major redevelopment projects, including the Atlanta BeltLine, the former Turner Field and State Farmers Market, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Fort McPherson, this 31-acre site is part of an area that is in the midst of significant—and promising—transition.
The development team is committed to ensuring NPU-V residents derive the greatest economic benefits possible from the redevelopment of Pittsburgh Yards.
Existing partnerships with a diverse network of workforce providers are being leveraged to ensure that residents secure construction-related and permanent jobs at the site, and that local and minority- and women-owned businesses are sought for subcontracting opportunities. Additional efforts are underway to support local businesses interested in using Pittsburgh Yards to grow their establishments.
In addition to fueling job creation and entrepreneurship, Pittsburgh Yards will also be a place to host neighborhood functions and other community-engagement events.
Pittsburgh Yards is more than just a physical redevelopment project—it’s an economic catalyst. Over the next 10 to 15 years, it is anticipated that the site will drive the creation of a wide range of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
To realize that vision, specific economic inclusion goals have been built into every aspect of the project, as follows:
- At least 50 percent of hires for phase I construction will be local residents.
- At least 50 percent of the new permanent jobs will be for local residents.
- At least 30 percent of the contracted construction values and tenant lease agreements will go to local, minority- and/or women-owned businesses.
- At least 30 percent of contracted predevelopment services will go to local, minority- and/or women-owned businesses. (This goal has already been exceeded).
Initial assessments show that there are more than 100 small businesses operating in NPU-V, some of which would be ideal candidates for Pittsburgh Yards if they chose to relocate. The process of identifying businesses and entrepreneurs is ongoing.
In addition to the explicit focus on economic benefits for local residents, the community engagement process surrounding Pittsburgh Yards is unlike that for standard real estate development projects. Residents are engaged at every step and are helping to shape everything from design elements and branding to prospective tenant lists.
The development team is supporting resident engagement in a variety of ways, including:
- hosting monthly community meetings and site tours to brief residents on the development process and solicit input
- organizing educational tours to other local development projects
- hosting focus group meetings with prospective tenants and small business owners—such as welders, seamstresses and bakers—to collect feedback on building design; and
- convening regular working group meetings to discuss naming, history, art, entrepreneurship and jobs
The site, formerly referred to as 352 University Avenue, was named “Pittsburgh Yards” as a result of community members’ efforts. The naming group developed several concepts, launched a call-in campaign to gather resident input on the proposed options and announced the final selection at a community meeting on October 12, 2017.
AECF Atlanta Realty, a subsidiary of the Annie E. Casey Foundation acquired the 31-acre Pittsburgh Yards site at 352 University Avenue from UPS in 2006.
After an extensive market study to explore potential uses, the search process for a developer began. In 2017, an agreement was finalized with Columbia Core Partners (CCP), a partnership between Columbia Ventures and The Core Venture Studio.
No, Pittsburgh Yards is not black-owned. There are many diverse entities supporting the project, including Invest Atlanta, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Brownfield Community Development Entity, and US Bank Community Development Corporation—all of which are committed to creating living-wage employment and long-term career and entrepreneurship opportunities for local residents and business owners.
As these are historically African-American communities, Pittsburgh Yards is intentionally creating a space that respects that history. We welcome and are supportive of black-led businesses, especially those in and around NPU-V. Pittsburgh Yards has also been developed through extensive engagement with residents from the surrounding area, who are predominantly African American, and who have worked hard to see their own history reflected in the site.
The development team for Pittsburgh Yards has been led by Columbia Core Partners (CCP), a partnership between Columbia Ventures and The Core Venture Studio. Residents of the NPU-V neighborhoods, including Pittsburgh in particular, and the Capitol View Manor neighborhood, have played key roles in the development process. The primary funder and supporter is the Annie E. Casey Foundation, along with other investors including: Enterprise Community Partners, Invest Atlanta, Brownfields CDE, US Bank, Northern Trust, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The project team also includes Stevens & Wilkinson (Architecture, Structural, MEP), Long Engineering (Civil Engineering), Sylvatica Studio (Landscape Architecture), Rejuve (touchdown shipping container design/build), Grafite (Interiors), Humint (Branding), Prismatic (Marketing), Southface Energy Institute (Sustainability Consulting), C.D. Moody Construction (General Contractor) and Stream Realty Partners (Property Management).
The first phase of redevelopment will occur on the eastern side of Pittsburgh Yards, around an existing building structure on the property.
The goal of Phase I is to adapt a portion of the site into a LEED-certified commercial village with a wide variety of tenants, and to prepare the necessary infrastructure to surround the building with an urban business/industrial park. The adaptation of this existing structure (~61,000 square feet) will create work spaces at accessible rental rates for approximately 100 businesses, including light-industrial, administrative, artisanal, maker and creative enterprises. This building also will become a public space for various community functions.
The first phase also includes developing the necessary road, sewer, storm-water management, landscaping and pedestrian-oriented infrastructure—including a spur to the future Atlanta BeltLine and additional access points to and from the Pittsburgh neighborhood—across about 15 acres of the site. This infrastructure will serve three adaptable pad-ready sites for future businesses interested in establishing in Pittsburgh Yards. A large, natural-turf green space will also be created, along with a business-centric area that features repurposed shipping containers for work spaces and storefronts.
The development team enlisted local Atlanta firm Stevens & Wilkinson for architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design. From the initial schematic designs through the present blueprints, the building plans have been influenced and guided by the development team’s desire to meet the project objectives and by community member interaction and feedback. Functionality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability of space have been key drivers contributing to design decisions. The construction plans will be finalized in the first quarter of 2018. However, community members will continue to be involved in the planning, implementation and exhibition of art, history, furniture and other important finishing touches.
The first phase of redevelopment is anticipated to cost approximately $26 million.
The existing public art/sculptures along University Avenue at the perimeter of the Pittsburgh Yards development had to be moved for sidewalk and infrastructure improvements. This necessary art relocation has been a consistent discussion topic during several of the past monthly community engagement meetings, as well as a focus for a community working group, as the art was originally created through community leadership and guidance. The stand-alone four sculptures (pyramid, egg, 3D cube, multicolored layered rings) are temporarily stored at Pittsburgh Yards outside of the construction area. Community members proposed a permanent relocation site for the four sculptures to Pittman Park. The Foundation has consulted with City of Atlanta Parks and Recreation Department and office of City Council Member Sheperd on the relocation. An artwork donation application has been filed and pending anticipated approval. This process may take 90 to 120 days. At the time of relocation and reinstallation, the Foundation will have the sculptures refurbished and repainted by the primary original artist.
Each sculpture weighs several hundred pounds and due to incline elevation of the large egg it was forced to be removed with heavy machinery to place it on level ground. The sculpture had to be strapped to a mechanical extension arm for moving and as the equipment operator adjusted the arm to support the sculpture base the piece was damaged. The original artist has agreed to repair the damaged sculpture when it is permanently reinstalled.
The three, larger fence art installations at Pittsburgh Yards were held together by cinder block backing. Several contractors and structural engineers were consulted on the removal of these pieces, and they advised that they were not able to be successfully moved without damaging the work. After discussions regarding several alternatives, the Foundation commissioned the original artist to redo the pieces using a much lighter weight material in a picture framed format. The new creations will be placed within the Pittsburgh Yards project at the end of construction and will be 3 feet x 6 feet.
The first phase of Pittsburgh Yards includes about 15 acres. There are five pad-ready sites within those 15 acres. A real estate broker is being retained to assist with attracting businesses that will want to lease ground space and build locations for their businesses. Pittsburgh Yards’ marketing firm is also assisting with this process. These businesses will need to align with the mission of Pittsburgh Yards. Please see the ground leasing criteria developed with community residents at PittsburghYards.com/grow/pad-sites-parcels. There is a conceptual plan for the remaining 15 acres of the site, but there is not a timeline for development. The intent is to develop the rest of the site is in a way that is compatible and aligned with the first phase.
We started pre-leasing the office/maker spaces inside The Nia Building™ late October 2019. We have a phased approach to pre-leasing to ensure that residents and businesses within Pittsburgh, NPU-V neighborhoods and Capitol View Manor receive priority. We began lease-up by accepting applications of interest, which is located online at Pittsburghyards.com/application.
- October–November: The first phase of pre-leasing was focused exclusively on residents and businesses located within the Pittsburgh neighborhood.
- November: The second phase of pre-leasing was focused exclusively on residents and businesses located within NPU-V and Capitol View Manor.
- Late November–December: The third phase of pre-leasing is focused on businesses that have previously been engaged and participating in Pittsburgh Yard meetings and related activities.
- Late December/Early January: The final phase of pre-leasing opens to everyone.
The timing of all phases is subject to change and will be based upon the time it takes to process applications in each phase. Everyone is encouraged to complete the online application now to be considered when we reach the phase that is relevant for you or when a space opens up in the future.
Our property management partner, Stream Realty Partners (Stream), will review applications in the order they are received, sort them by qualified phase, then schedule in-person meetings and a property tour to discuss available office and maker spaces, coworking memberships and ground-lease options.
After a tenant is approved and has selected a space, he or she will sign a lease agreement and pay a security deposit of one month’s rent to reserve their space.
We will always accept applications for leasing opportunities, and as spaces become available in the future, we will prioritize applicants according to the following categories:
- Residents and businesses located within NPU-V and Capitol View Manor
- Businesses that have actively engaged and participated in Pittsburgh Yard activities
- All other businesses
- Willing to abide by The Nia Building’s Code of Conduct (see The Nia Building section for more details)
- Willing to assume a renter’s insurance policy with effective date of lease agreement
- Willing to periodically report on number of employees, addresses of employees and wages
- Willing to participate in a job posting board and to show preference in hiring to local (NPU-V/Capitol View Manor) applicants if a qualified candidate is available
- Willing to consider second chance hires who have not been convicted of sexual violence or meth-related offenses
- Willing to pay living wages if feasible or offer apprenticeship/upskilling opportunities
There are a few types of businesses that will not be a fit for the first phase of Pittsburgh Yards. The Nia Building is primarily designed for businesses that make things or provide services for other businesses, and the Shipping Container Courtyard is more retail- and customer-focused. The pad sites will likely eventually attract light-scale manufacturing businesses. We do hope that the business support activities that occur at Pittsburgh Yards, such as workshops and networking events, will benefit businesses beyond those located on-site. We also anticipate that Pittsburgh Yards will encourage people to patronize businesses in the surrounding area.
These are the types of businesses that are not a good fit within the vision for Pittsburgh Yards:
- Massage parlor
- Hot tub facility
- Suntan facility
- Gambling facility
- Businesses that emit heat, smoke or fumes beyond their work space
- Businesses that require running water in their tenant space
- Retail stores whose principal business is the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises
- Check-cashing businesses
- Businesses with potentially offensive branding
- Businesses that require strict confidentiality (e.g. HIPAA compliance) in verbal communications
- Adult entertainment establishments
- Gun shops
- Pawn shops
- Night clubs
- Self-storage only
- Vape shops
- Businesses whose primary purpose is the sale or lease of intangibles (defined by the IRS as property that has value but cannot be seen or touched, such as: goodwill, business books and records, patents, licenses)
The Shipping Container Courtyard is a great solution for largely retail- and consumer-oriented businesses. These unique land leases provide an opportunity to conceive, create and construct your space in our courtyard adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine.
- Direct access to the Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail
- Adjacent to The Nia Building—the energized, dynamic heart of Pittsburgh Yards—with common spaces and amenities, including exterior seating areas and porches
- Rare opportunity to design/build your container space inside a mission-based master planned development
- Ground lease opportunities include an array of spaces to accommodate your preferred size of shipping container
- Infrastructure in place for establishing utility connections, stormwater management and landscaping
Alternatives to a ground lease for a shipping container would be applying to lease a move-in-ready space in The Nia Building or reserving a coworking membership. Both have advantages, depending on your business needs. If you own a food business, then cooperating with other food businesses as a member of the shared-use commercial kitchen or the market in The Nia Building might be a fit. We encourage you to complete an application so that Stream can meet with you to discuss your options at Pittsburgh Yards. The application is available at Pittsburghyards.com/application.
Apartment tenants must have an income at, or below, 60% of the area median income, which is an amount calculated annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amount is calculated for different household sizes. For example, the current amount for a single person would be at, or below, $33,480.
While we are not currently taking applications for apartments, please complete our contact form and select “Apartments at Pittsburgh Yards” in the “Your Interests” drop-down menu to receive an alert when we will begin leasing efforts.
Coworking memberships will be provided on a first-come first-served basis until all 50 available membership opportunities have been filled.
We will always accept applications for coworking memberships, and as spaces become available in the future, we will prioritize applicants on the waitlist according to the following categories:
- Residents and businesses located within NPU-V and Capitol View Manor
- Businesses that have actively engaged and participated in Pittsburgh Yard activities
- All other businesses
Coworking memberships allow for 24/7 access to The Nia Building and access to amenity spaces in the North Wing during normal business hours of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays.
There are 200+ free parking spaces available on a first-come first-served basis in lighted lots and along the private streets within Pittsburgh Yards. There are also three (3) electric vehicle charging stations available for an additional fee.
- 24/7 access to the building and North Wing access during normal business hours
- High-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the building
- Conference, meeting and event spaces that are available to rent
- Indoor courtyard and common spaces with built-in seating
- Metered printer/copier access
- Private lactation/wellness room for nursing mothers
- Centrally located restrooms with showers
- Programming and events plus newsletters and communications
- Privacy rooms in the North Wing for personal meetings or phone calls
- Free lot/street parking and access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
- Professional on-site management, maintenance and cleaning
The common spaces within the North Wing of The Nia Building will be open to the public from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays. Visitors are required to sign in at the reception desk.
There are 200+ free parking spaces available for tenants and their customers on a first-come first-served basis in lighted lots adjacent to The Nia Building and along the private streets within Pittsburgh Yards. There are also three (3) electric vehicle charging stations available for an additional fee.
The current guidelines for tenants and coworking members of Pittsburgh Yards are as follows and may evolve over time to meet the needs of the culture and community within Pittsburgh Yards.
- Be a good neighbor.
- Do not restrict the access of fellow tenants to shared and common spaces.
- Contain any materials, emissions, heat, etc. within your leased space.
- Operate your business in such a way that it does not adversely impact others at Pittsburgh Yards or residents of the surrounding communities.
- Any alterations to your space, cosmetic or otherwise, must be approved in advance by Stream, the property manager.
- Actively participate in the sharing of resources, ideas and culture at Pittsburgh Yards.
- Any posted signage must be approved in advance by Stream. Uniform business signage for units and a listing in the business directory will be provided.
The property management firm, Stream Realty Partners, manages The Nia Building and activities on the surrounding space. Stream’s on-site staff include a property manager, community manager and maintenance staff.
The interior design firm, Grafite, is coordinating the creation and installation of a number of public art pieces that reflect the history of the surrounding area and that include significant community involvement. There was a call for artists to allow local artists the opportunity to compete to produce these pieces, which will include textiles, portrait photography, color blocking and historic banners. There is also a replica of former community art by the artist Fred Ajanogha, which includes three bas relief panels reflecting the past, present and future of the Pittsburgh community.
Businesses that are interested in becoming vendors at Pittsburgh Yards should complete the contact form on the website and select the option for “Vendor/service provider opportunities” in the “Your Interests” drop-down menu. Stream Realty will receive your submission and follow up with businesses that are interested in bidding on service contracts for Pittsburgh Yards, with at least three bids per contract. Priority will be given to businesses based in NPU-V or Capitol View Manor, but they will need to provide a competitive bid. Once service contracts are in place, information from interested businesses will be maintained on file for future opportunities and contracts that will be rebid periodically.
The development team and community members collaborated to create the evaluation criteria for ground lease tenants.