Along an iconic corridor that once served as a hub for wholesale produce in Pittsburgh, the proposed Smallman St. and Produce Terminal Project & Condos – at 1600 Smallman Street — were designed to pay homage to a former bustling section of the city. Described as “industrial chic,” the endeavor aimed to enliven the west end of Pittsburgh’s Strip District (between 16th and 21st Streets) by creating a safer and more engaging destination. Included was the proposed addition of 160,000 sq ft of mixed-use commercial and retail space, along with 40,000 sq ft for local and regional businesses and a “food-centric” marketplace.
For decades, the Produce Terminal was the entry point for the region’s wholesale produce industry. Produce would arrive on railcars to be purchased by wholesalers who would sell to local restaurants and grocery stores. The Produce Terminal’s utility waned as the economics of food changed, and by the 1970s, the building was partially vacant. The building was eventually purchased by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh in 1981. After several attempts at redevelopment stalled, the URA reached an agreement with McCaffery Interests, Inc. in 2014.
Two essential components of the project — the construction of a five-story garage and new stair and elevator towers in the existing building — required ground improvement due to the compressible nature of the soils at the site. Menard USA was contracted to support the garage with Controlled Modulus Column (CMC)® rigid inclusions. The technique used for the stair and elevator towers was helical piers.