The Bend @ Boggs + Bailey

LOCATION: Mt. Washington, Pittsburgh, PA
STATUS: MWCDC Ideas Competition Winner 2016

Currently, Boggs + Bailey sits isolated atop Mt. Washington. Our primary goal is to rebuild the underserved area with Boggs + Bailey becoming a destination for residents and tourists alike.

The Bend at Boggs + Bailey seeks to:
1. Increase connectivity amongst Mt. Washington neighborhoods via public transit
2. Encourage tourists visiting Mt. Washington to venture into the Boggs + Bailey business district and other points of interest along the hilltop.
3. Provide a range of housing with views of the city and amenities focused on healthy lifestyles.
4. Create a food destination, providing a grocery store and farmers’ market to address the area’s food desert and encourage healthy food restaurants.

To increase connectivity amongst the hilltop neighborhoods, we envision a new transit system called The Skyway inspired by the historic trolley cars that once ran through Mt. Washington. The Skyway is comprised of an elevated trolley system and a ‘floating’ bikeway. It will serve as a practical mode of transport for hilltop residents as well as a vehicle to bring tourists from the Monongahela Incline into the heart of the hilltop.
The trolley stops will be located at the Mt. Washington Overlook, the Monongahela Incline, Shiloh Street, Boggs + Bailey, Grandview Park, and Allentown. At Boggs + Bailey, the trolley will drop riders off at the grocery store and farmers’ market.
The floating bikeways will connect active Pittsburghers to the existing and proposed hiking trails along Emerald View Park. In addition to following the trolley line, the bikeway extends into Mt. Washington Park (Dilworth) and continues through Grandview Park.

The Bend’s four acre site calls for a variety of programmatic uses, including a transit hub, food-centric and wellness-related commercial space, multi-family housing, and office space. The site is centrally located amongst the Mt. Washington neighborhoods, making it an ideal place for both a grocery store and a farmers’ market. 

The commercial space addresses the near food desert and influx of active visitors from the bikeway. In addition to the grocery store and weekly farmers’ market, we envision health-conscious restaurants, cafés, bike and fitness shops, and a gym. Prime office space will be available for established businesses along with shared co-working space for younger companies, freelancers, and startups. The mixed use program at The Bend will enhance the development’s position as a wellness destination in Pittsburgh’s burgeoning biking and active lifestyle culture.

A range of residential development is proposed for the site. Accessible, affordable housing will be plentiful, along with market-rate condos — all with private balconies and shared rooftop green space. With breathtaking views of Downtown Pittsburgh and high-end amenities, there is also a strong opportunity for luxury condos at the upper corner of The Bend. Amenities like the gym, healthy food restaurant, and bikeway will attract a younger demographic to the site, while affordable housing and an on-site grocery store will help serve the existing senior population.

The Bend at Boggs + Bailey is a unique development for a number of reasons, including our multi-modal transit system known as The Skyway. Pittsburgh is known for its unique transit systems thanks to its unique geography, including the inclines, former trolleys, the network of (sometimes perilous) hillside staircases, and lest we forget the short-lived Skybus and Maglev initiatives. The Skyway adds to this legacy of transit-related innovation.

The Skyway trolley cars are suspended from steel moment frames that line the street. At each stop, the cars lower to street level to pick-up passengers and then elevate above the street as they continue along the route. This vertical suspension system reduces traffic at street level and provides a more efficient transportation system. Resting atop the steel moment frame is the ‘floating’ bikeway. The 10 foot wide bike path gives riders a bird’s-eye view of the neighborhood while improving cyclist safety by isolating them from vehicular traffic below.