Millcraft Investments commissioned Strada to convert the former Lazarus department store – which closed in 2004 after only 5 years of operation – into a rethought mixed-use project. The original store had been constructed as part of a broader, city-backed initiative to revitalize the traditional retail core, but due to significant changes in the retail marketplace, it was never a success.
The new Piatt Place meets the challenge of adaptively reusing this “big box” into the new model of urban building as a mixed use complex. It combines ground floor retail and large floorplate Class A office space with three newly-added floors of residential condominiums arranged around a rooftop courtyard.
The project was fortunate to have strong original assets. It is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, with a 500-car parking garage below, and the original building was friendly to reuse, with a contextually designed facade that includes large expanses of windows, particularly for a department store. Designed to meet LEED sustainable design certification, the adaptation of this aging building for mixed-use development was one of the early sparks in the current revival of downtown as a place to live.
– Tom Price, Project Architect