Steel-town brownfields becoming waterside homes, offices

By The Tribune-Review on May 10, 2011

Tom and Deneen Loughran like living in Pleasant Hills, but the empty-nesters have their sights set on a change: They are buying a $375,000 house in Oakmont along the Allegheny River.

The couple found the Edgewater at Oakmont development attractive because of the diversity of homes it will include and their ability to customize a two-story carriage home, said Deneen Loughran, 56. “It’s just a beautiful, beautiful floor plan,” she said.

Edgewater is one of two dozen projects taking shape — together worth more than $500 million — that officials said are driving riverfront redevelopment in Allegheny County. Many are on remediated brownfields, or decontaminated industrial sites. Edgewater at Oakmont was home to the Edgewater Steel Co. plant that closed 10 years ago.

In all, 185 miles of riverfront properties line the Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio and Youghiogheny rivers in Allegheny County, says a 2010 county report on riverfront development.

“Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have a benefit because we have miles and miles of riverfront,” said Dennis Davin, director of the county’s Economic Development department.

Work continues on the first two homes in the Edgewater at Oakmont complex along the Allegheny River in Oakmont. Photo: Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch

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