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Oakland Hyatt Centric hotel deal could aid Pittsburgh Athletic Association

Tom Fontaine
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This artist's rendering shows the proposed $30 million hotel in Oakland. The 10-story, 168-room Hyatt Centric hotel is to be built on a parking lot behind the Pittsburgh Athletic Association on Fifth Avenue, across Bigelow Boulevard from the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum.

A $30 million luxury hotel proposed in Oakland would help ensure the long-term survival of the iconic Pittsburgh Athletic Association, officials said Tuesday.

A 10-story, 168-room Hyatt Centric hotel would be built on a parking lot behind the Fifth Avenue club, across Bigelow Boulevard from the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum, developers told the Pittsburgh Planning Commission.

The association owns the parking lot. A proposed 99-year lease with developer Concord Hospitality would provide annual income to “stabilize the PAA and (help it) continue indefinitely into the future,” association board member Robert Dauer said.

Dauer did not say how much money the agreement is expected to yield annually.

Falling membership has plagued the association during the past decade or so, declining by 200 to 300 members in that span to 750, Dauer said. The association has been pursued by at least a dozen creditors in the past two years, with debts ranging from unpaid federal, state and local taxes to a Duquesne Light bill for nearly $160,000, court records show. The association hopes the added income would help it improve facilities to attract new and younger members, Dauer said.

Concord’s plans for the hotel have been modified significantly in the past two years.

The original $45 million construction plans called for 190 rooms, but developers reduced the size in response to concerns from the community and the city’s Historic Review Commission, said Keith McGraw, a partner with Concord Hospitality.

The city deems the association’s building historic, so the Historic Review Commission must sign off on the plans. A vote on the original plans ended in a deadlock. The commission is scheduled to consider the new plans Wednesday.

The hotel would sit atop three levels of parking, including one underground level. Hotel guests would check in on the building’s 10th floor, which would feature panoramic views and an upscale restaurant. Rooms are expected to cost $200 a night on average, McGraw said.A second restaurant and coffee shop are planned at street level.

Pending necessary approvals, McGraw said, construction could begin as soon as next spring and take up to 20 months to complete.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or [email protected].

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