Two years after an announcement that a former Ford Motor Co. factory on Baum Boulevard in Bloomfield would become a state-of-the-art research and entrepreneurial hub, development is going into high gear.
The project, 5051 Centre Avenue, is a collaboration of the University of Pittsburgh and Wexford Science+Technology that will include research labs and space for startups, centered around the future of health care including transplantation, immunology and cancer treatment. It has eight stories and 200,000 square feet.
Pitt and UPMC announced the project in February 2018, Pitt purchased the building from UPMC in November 2018 and an adjacent building at Centre Avenue and Morewood Avenue began to be demolished last April. The three-floor addition will include parking, loading, a lobby and retail. The work should be completed by the fall of 2021.
New to the site is a 200-foot-tall crane with a 250-foot reach and a 35-ton capacity; it was installed this past weekend.
“It will really be a kickoff point for a lot of the activity you’ll see in the year to come,” said Matthew Rendulic, assistant director of real estate at the University of Pittsburgh.
University of Pittsburgh officials provided a short tour Thursday of the work done so far. The architect is ZGF Architects and Turner Construction Co. is the contractor.
One feature of the building is the multistory atrium and collaboration space that will be built where the Glass Shed, which served as a loading area when it was an automotive manufacturing plant, is now.