mellon’s orchard south apartments : pittsburgh, pa

architecture & interiors that create community

Client: TREK Development Group

The project revitalizes a vacant brownfield parking lot in East Liberty, and coordinates with a City of Pittsburgh project to restore the grid of streets and blocks that was removed as part of an ill-conceived urban renewal project. The layout improves the pedestrian link between the commercial core and the outer residential areas. This was the first opportunity for low to moderate income residents in the neighborhood to take part in shaping their community.


  • Architectural design creates pleasing urban scale with 4 separate buildings, sidewalks between and around them, and walkable connections to the community. The architectural character bridges the residential and urban portions of the neighborhood.
  • While the project emphasizes foot traffic, it incorporates parking for the residents in a central court.
  • Community charettes guided programming and overall design, creating agency and charting a course for sustainable, vibrant, long-lived buildings.
  • Townhouses can be inhabited by small business owners, further encouraging pedestrian traffic between the residential and commercial parts of the site.
  • Community room strategically located at the corner of the site creates a direct, walkable connection to a park and an adjacent residential district.
  • Contemporary design with thoughtful detailing establishes a distinctive presence for this mixed-income project.
  • Designed for Energy Savings: Enterprise Green Communities certification; Energy Star for Homes.
  • Funding Agencies: PHFA LIHTC, 9%; URA Housing Opportunity Fund

35 rental apartment & 12 live-work townhouses; 37 units designated “affordable housing”; 6 units designed for residents with mobile & sensory impairments

Firm Responsibility

Architectural Design
Contract Documents
Contract Administration

Completion Date



Enterprise Green Communities


General Contractor


Structural Engineering

Taylor Structural Engineers

MEP Engineering

Ray Engineering

Civil Engineering

KU Resources

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