Former Macy’s building to be upscale apartments

Katia Faroun|Staff Photographer
The former Kaufmann’s and then Macy’s department store will be home to apartments.

Michael Marafino | Staff Writer

11/09/17

Innovation is propelling Pittsburgh into new realms of societal and technological development.

Core Reality recently announced its partnership with Amazon in transforming the old Macy’s department store in Downtown Pittsburgh into apartments equipped with advanced technology, including voice command operating systems through Amazon’s product, Alexa.

Amazon’s technology will enable residents to do several tasks, such as utilizing the television and air conditioning, simply through voice commands. Along with Alexa, other luxuries, including iPads and high quality televisions, will be included.

“Making Amazon Alexa and our Savant operating system available in our apartments introduces the next level of modern living,” Michael Samschick, President and CEO of Core Realty, said, according to PRWeb. “We are excited to be bringing this new culture to Pittsburgh that will offer Kaufmann’s Grand residents not just a new lifestyle, but a technology-based living experience.”

The historical value of the building is also being preserved through the restoration of several parts of the building dating back to the 1800s.

“This is an iconic and historic building with amenities that have never been seen before in Pittsburgh’s residential market” Samschick said, commenting on the classic nature of the structure itself.

Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh shared that he has high hopes of the project helping in modernizing and reinvigorating the area. In fact, according to the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette, Peduto said that he hopes to make the region “an area that will be more than just a roadway between the South Side and the Strip District but be the heart of a vibrant Downtown.”

The potential the enterprise has is outstanding, and it could mean great opportunities for students in the area seeking housing. A key concern is pricing for these units and one-bedroom units will have a rent started at approximately $1,200.

Students expressed that they believe this to be a good deal, especially with how much high-level technology is included in the apartments. Maggie Kraus, a freshman athletic training major, expressed her opinion on the price.

“I feel like if it comes already with an iPad, a TV and Alexa, you’re cutting down on other costs which would make more room in a budget for rent” Kraus said.

Michael Scarpino, a freshman sports marketing major, added to Kraus’ opinion.

“It would make simple things easier to do with Alexa and it already includes a lot of expenses that I don’t have to buy on my own,” Scarpino said.

However, some students do not believe that this is a feasible deal for college students. Amber Gorog, a psychology student, contradicted Kraus’ opinion.

“I don’t think it’s attainable for a college student,” Gorog said. “But it may be for a fully functional adult with an actual career.”

Kiersten Daugherty, a criminal justice major, pointed out the specific factors of the technology that should be considered.

“I think that given the fact that the electronics, appliances and Air Conditioning are already in the building, and they are voice activated, the price is relatively reasonable,” Daugherty said. “The only drawback is that all of these additions could break or have problems, which could add more unexpected expenses.”

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