Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Historic Roundhouse At Hazelwood Green Brownfield Site In Allegheny County Undergoing Renovations For OneValley’s Pittsburgh Innovation Center

On October 26, press and foundation leaders toured the Roundhouse at
Hazelwood Green to see the progress of renovation efforts at the 1887 structure in Allegheny County. 

Construction is on target for a spring 2021 completion when the space becomes home to OneValley’s Pittsburgh Innovation Center. 

OneValley (fka GSVlabs), a global entrepreneurship platform for individuals, startups, and companies seeking innovation and accelerated growth, enables entrepreneurs to access capital, tools, community and resources to grow their business.  

The Pittsburgh Innovation Center will also offer education programs, events and workshops for local small businesses, students and the community. 

Garden areas and additional outdoor spaces for a variety of events are also planned for public use and enjoyment.

“The transformation of Hazelwood Green and its connection back to the community was no overnight success. It is the result of three foundations tirelessly investing more than $100 million in patient capital over 18 years to remediate and prepare the site for the types of economic development, sustainability, and community opportunities that are before us today,” said Sam Reiman, Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. 

“And that includes a commitment to restoring the historic Roundhouse. Through a combined investment of $12.5 million, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Heinz Endowments are providing support to transform this historic structure into a home for the region’s and world’s next generation of entrepreneurs,” added Reiman.   The data is clear that most job growth in the United States comes from those companies that are less than five years old, and this space is the modern-day plumbing required for every citizen in Pittsburgh, from university students in Oakland to Hazelwood residents, to participate in the new economy.”

Originally built by the Monongahela Connecting Railroad circa 1887 and formerly owned by Jones & Laughlin Steel and later LTV Steel Company, the 10-bay Roundhouse and turntable was used to stabilize train engines for servicing and to redirect the materials they carried through the processes of production and on to final distribution.

 Pittsburgh-based GBBN was selected by Almono LP to take on the challenge of designing the renovation of the space.

“The Roundhouse communicates its industrial origins and when you are in the space, you recognize that it carries with it the memory and residue of over 100 years of 20th century activity and life,” says Anne Chen, principal, GBBN.  “The design vision for this remarkable building has focused on connecting to its important role in Pittsburgh history while also repositioning the space to usher in a new future of community enrichment, technology, manufacturing and entrepreneurialism.”

Unique features of the 26,0000 gross square-foot space include the original turntable surface, which will be rebuilt to function as an outdoor relaxation space with wheeled seating built on the rails, and the original bridge crane, recently rehung in the space.  

Overhead engine bay doors were removed and will be replaced with a glass curtain wall system to bring daylight into the space and allow for open views of the outdoors.

“Tremendous care has been taken to respect the heritage of this incredible building, and to invest in saving and repurposing many original elements so that its story is carried forward in its new role as home to OneValley’s Pittsburgh Innovation Center,” says Todd Stern, Managing Director of U3 Advisors, development advisors for Hazelwood Green. “The renovation of the Roundhouse is another milestone in the ongoing development of Hazelwood Green, and in establishing the site – and Pittsburgh – as a destination for new ideas, entrepreneurs, investment and opportunity.”

“OneValley’s mission is to support entrepreneurs, accelerate startups and empower organizations across the globe that foster entrepreneurial and innovation communities,” says OneValley CEO, Nikhil Sinha. “OneValley looks forward to the launch of its Pittsburgh Innovation Center in the Roundhouse, which will house and support startups, accelerator partners, VCs, non-profits, and corporate innovation leaders. 

“We are excited to welcome students, local small businesses, curious life-long learners, and the broader community to participate in our regular events and workshops, both here at the Roundhouse and virtually, and to connect them with the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is developing in Hazelwood Green,” said Sinha.  “We believe that Pittsburgh is, and has been throughout history, one of the strongest and most important innovation communities in the world, and we are excited to connect Pittsburgh’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem to the global resources they need to create, launch, build, and scale their businesses, while staying rooted in the Pittsburgh community.”

Local small manufacturers and artisans are being engaged in designing elements of the Roundhouse through a partnership with Monmade.  

As a result, dozens of additional regional companies along the supply chain are being contracted to provide product for use in the building, including interior and exterior signage, interior lighting, wall tile, a reception desk, kitchen island, wallcoverings celebrating Pittsburgh neighborhoods and history, custom benches, interior and exterior bike racks, custom wall panels and sliding doors. 

The renovation will employ energy efficient systems for heating and cooling and will seek LEED Gold certification upon completion. Stormwater management includes use of bioswales and a large rain garden to keep and filter water on site. 

The site surrounding the Roundhouse will be planted with native species and largely retained as a planted habitat for pollinators and other local animal and insect species.

The renovation is projected to be completed in spring 2021. 

To learn more, visit the Hazelwood Green website.


Historic Roundhouse At Hazelwood Green Undergoes $1 Million Renovation, Will Be Home Of OneValley Innovation Center

[Posted: October 27, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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