Oxford Development to Decide on 350 Fifth Avenue Plans By Year’s End26 Nov 2012, 8:27 pm
Oxford Development Corporation, the largest privately owned commercial real estate firm in Western Pennsylvania, celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Rivers Club at One Oxford Centre in downtown Pittsburgh.
On this occasion, President and CEO Steven J. Guy told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the company would continue its aggressive pursuit of development and management opportunities.
Announced in May, Oxford’s latest project involves the revitalization of the Smithfield Street corridor. In order to better suit market demand, Oxford has invested in the conceptual design of two options and expects to make a decision by the end of the year.
The first option entails the development of the 350 Fifth High-Rise, a new 33-story, 772,000 -square-foot office tower. Designed by Green Tree-based DLA+ Architecture & Interior Design, the project is expected to cost $238 million and create 450 permanent jobs. At a minimum, it would achieve LEED Silver designation and explore elements of alternative energy, such as Photovoltaic Generation and Geothermal Access. The high-rise would include 41 spaces of underground parking and a ground floor that allows for a wide sidewalk, a mini park and urban dining establishments.
The second option calls for extensive renovations to the existing space. 350 Fifth Renovation would feature 180,000 square feet of Class A office space, open floor plans, a roof top deck and a complete redesign of the ground floor retail and restaurant area. The project would achieve LEED EB (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings) Certification. It is expected to cost $40 million and create 125 permanent jobs.
The office tower should be completed in 2015 or 2016, while the renovation could be finished in 2013 or 2014. The company’s choice will depend on whether a key anchor tenant steps forward to make the new office tower financially feasible.
Photo credits: www.oxforddevelopment.com
New Mixed-Use Neighborhood Development Coming to Pittsburgh’s Hill District16 Nov 2012, 6:56 pm
The city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has approved a $16 million residential and retail development for the historic New Granada Theater Block in the Hill District.
The Residences at New Granada Square is a project that involves the construction of a mixed-income, mixed-use building on a vacant site between Wylie and Centre Avenues. The U-shaped structure will offer 16 two-bedroom apartments and 35 one-bedroom units. Out of a total of 51 apartments, 42 units will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of area median income; the rest will be rented at market rate. Plans also call for 7,200 square feet of retail space, approximately 25 on-site parking spots and a courtyard.
“The Residences at New Granada Square is of great importance and will accelerate the redevelopment of the commercial district along Centre Avenue,” said R. Daniel Lavelle, City Councilman and URA board vice chairman. “It will also serve to support neighborhood goals of quality mixed-income housing and culturally relevant development and programming.”
The project will be developed by New Granada Square Housing LP, an entity created by the Hill Community Development Corporation and Ralph A. Falbo, Inc. The developers are planning to submit an application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which could generate as much as $10.8 million in support of the project.
In related news, the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has also approved the construction of the $11.6 million Shop ‘n Save grocery store and retail center in the Hill District.
The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the Hill House Association has been able to close the $3.86 million funding gap for the project.
The proposed 30,000-square-foot development will offer 6,800 square feet of retail space and create more than 100 new jobs. Upon completion in mid-2013, Shop ‘n Save will be the first full-service grocery store in the Hill District in over 30 years.
Photo credits: futonplanet.com
Construction to Begin on Pittsburgh International Business Park8 Nov 2012, 3:30 pm
Developers have broken ground on two buildings that will anchor the Pittsburgh International Business Park on Cherrington Extension Parkway in Moon Township. The single story brick and glass facilities will each offer 53,000 square feet of high end Class A office space.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Columbus, Ohio-based Continental Real Estate Cos. and Cranberry-based Chaska Property Advisors Inc. will spend between $12 million and $15 million on the construction of the two facilities. Upon completion in the summer of 2013, mortgage services company ServiceLink will move into the buildings with approximately 700 employees.
The Pittsburgh International Business Park will be developed on a 40-acre site owned by Allegheny County and leased to the Airport Authority. It will eventually include five to eight office buildings. In September 2008, the Cherrington Extension was completed—this $14 million project opened 60 acres for the development of shovel-ready sites.
“Through our focus on creating shovel-ready land, we have watched the airport corridor flourish,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We are jumpstarting business development, stimulating job growth and attracting new business here. This project would not have been possible were it not for the development of the extension of Cherrington Parkway. This was truly a cooperative effort by the state, county, Airport Authority and local government.”
In regional news, Heartland Homes Inc. is planning 32 townhouses on a 2.6-acre plot next to a cemetery in the ninth ward of Lawrenceville. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the developer is seeking variances from the zoning code for the minimum rear and exterior setback requirements.
If approved, the project would rank among the region’s largest new developments in terms of number of homes for sale. According to RealSTATS, a South Side residential research firm, central Lawrenceville has experienced one of the greatest home value appreciations in the region since 2000. The average annual home price has been increasing by 16.5 percent annually, the newspaper reports.
Photo credits: property.jll.com
Expedient Plans Major Expansion for Pittsburgh Data Center2 Nov 2012, 12:31 am
Expedient is planning a six-month, multi-million dollar project that will double the size of its second Pittsburgh data center. Located within Allegheny Center Mall, the facility is expected to reach a total of 18,000 square feet of computing space and 25,000 square feet overall. It is the company’s third data center expansion in Pittsburgh since 2008.
“We are pleased with the accelerating demand for our private cloud and colocation services in the Pittsburgh market and we look forward to the opportunities that our expansion projects will provide to our current and future customers,” said Shawn McGorry, President and COO of Expedient.
Upon completion, the facility will have top tier features, including dual power feeds, two 2,200 KW generators, four UPS systems, a multi-tiered security system and 500 tons of cooling. It will be connected to the company’s multi-city network of data centers by fiber.
Expedient is headquartered in Pittsburgh and currently operates in five other cities, including Cleveland, Indianapolis, Columbus, Baltimore and Boston.
In other news, Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. has sold four major apartment communities in the Pittsburgh region for an undisclosed amount.
The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that a joint venture between Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII LP of New York and Morgan Communities of Rochester, N.Y. has purchased the 270-unit Carson Street Commons on the South Side, the 235-unit Waterfront apartments in Homestead, 246-unit The Docks in O’Hara Township and the 359-unit Christopher Wren Apartments in Wexford. All four communities were developed more than 10 years ago by Columbus-based Continental Real Estate Companies. In 2004, the properties were put on the market for $130 million.
The acquisition was part of a large transaction involving almost 3,000 apartments in Columbus, Pittsburgh and Charlotte, N.C. Nationwide Realty continues to own three communities in downtown Columbus and nearby Grandview Heights.
Photo credits: www.pic2fly.com
Pittsburgh Neighborhood Developments to Receive Federal Funding25 Oct 2012, 5:54 pm
Two neighborhood development projects in Pittsburgh will receive $1.6 million in federal grants from the Office of Community Services, an agency of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding was announced by the administration of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
East Liberty Development Inc. has been awarded approximately $800,000 for the transformation of a historic East Liberty building into the city’s first boutique hotel. The five-story, former YMCA building has been vacant for 10 years. Plans call for 63 guest rooms, a restaurant, exercise facilities, coffee bar, specialty retail, and event and programming spaces. The total cost of the new development is $19 million, including $550,000 in loans offered by the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority to help finance the acquisition of the property. The project will generate more than 100 new jobs, and construction is expected to begin in the next few months.
The Hill House Economic Development Corporation will receive a $789,000 grant for the construction of a 30,000-square-foot Shop ‘N Save grocery store. The $11.5 million project will also bring 6,800 square feet of retail space and create more than 100 new jobs. Other funding sources include a $1 million Community Development Block Grant and $275,800 in deferred land acquisition financing from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
“This has been a very difficult project to complete and our community has been waiting a long time for fresh food and new retail options,” said Cheryl Hall-Russell, president and CEO of the Hill House Association and the Hill House Economic Development Corporation. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the grocery store will be operated by local store owner Jeff Ross, and construction is being managed by Massaro Corporation.
“Neighborhood projects like these are crucial to continuing Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance, which is marked by job creation, neighborhood growth and economic development,” Ravenstahl added. “I am grateful to President Obama and his Administration for continuing to invest in the City of Pittsburgh and our 90 neighborhoods.”
Photo credits: www.iiofpitt.org
Chatham University to Start Construction on Green Academic Community17 Oct 2012, 6:20 pm
Chatham University has broken ground on the Eden Hall Campus, the first academic community in the world built from the ground up for sustainable development, living, and learning.
Located in Richland on a 400-acre site once called Eden Hall Farm, the facility will be the second residential college campus in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and the first university in Northern Allegheny County. The institution has hired world-renowned Andropogon and BNIM to develop the Eden Hall master plan, while architecture firm Mithun will be in charge of building design.
The project consists of an estimated $40 million investment in a carbon neutral, zero-net energy facility that will include high performance green buildings and the latest in sustainable land, energy, and water management techniques. The construction of field laboratories, classrooms, a café, an amphitheater, a mosaic garden and infrastructure will be complete by fall 2013. A dining facility and two residence halls with 150 beds are also included in the project. The structures are scheduled for completion in 2015.
“Eden Hall is a campus like no other—a next generation living laboratory where students will not only study sustainability, but be immersed in it,” said Chatham President Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D. “This remarkable campus will be a model of advanced sustainability, a place of stunning beauty, and strengthen Pittsburgh’s continued leadership in green innovation and buildings.”
Chatham University has also announced the receipt of a $7.5 million contribution from Richard King Mellon Foundation for its new campus, the largest donation to date since the original land gift offered by the Eden Hall Foundation.
Chatham University has been recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible universities in the U.S. and Canada. It was founded in 1869 and is located in the vibrant Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Over the past decade the university registered the fastest growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region.
Photo credits: www.chatham.edu
JV to Acquire Major Retail Portion of the Suburban Pittsburgh Waterfront11 Oct 2012, 8:56 pm
A joint-venture between BIG Shopping Centers USA of Los Angeles and Chicago-based M&J Wilkow Ltd. has acquired 765,000 square feet of space at the Waterfront retail development, the second largest shopping complex in the Pittsburgh area.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, county records indicate that the group of investors purchased the site from Developers Diversified Realty Corp. of Beachwood, Ohio, for more than $112 million. In 2007, the Cleveland-based company acquired the property for $160 million.
The Waterfront mixed-use development spreads across 265 acres of the former Homestead Works steel mill site along the Monongahela River and features a total of 1.4 million square feet. More than 80 percent of the tenants remained at the center since it first opened in 2001.
The acquisition marks the investment group’s first foray into Pennsylvania. Lowe’s Home Improvement, Target, Giant Eagle, Macy’s, Costco and several other independently owned parcels were not included in the sale. The new owners are now planning major upgrades for the property.
“The Waterfront was once a national showcase of Pittsburgh’s post-steel industry economic revival,” said Martin J. Sweeney, vice president of acquisitions for M&J Wilkow Ltd. “We plan to re-capture that spirit and bring this wonderful retail destination to a much higher level.”
In other news, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation plans to acquire two buildings in the city’s downtown area, with the intent to establish a women’s fashion district on Wood Street.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a subsidiary of the foundation has proposed to purchase the buildings at 420 and 422 Wood Street from the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority for $500,000. In 2009 and 2010, the URA acquired the properties for $220,000 and $280,000, respectively.
Plans call for the rehabilitation of the first floors, while the upper floors will be converted into apartments or offices. The foundation is also overseeing the restoration of the buildings’ facades, which is expected to cost approximately $618,000. Financing is provided through the Downtown Preservation Project, a program created to support the restoration of older buildings in the Golden Triangle.
Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Shell Proposes $7.6 Million Payment Plan to Beaver County5 Oct 2012, 5:16 am
Royal Dutch Shell has proposed a payment plan to Beaver County officials that could bring local entities $7.6 million if the company decides to build a massive ethane cracker facility in the region. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shell’s proposed development had threatened to deprive the Potter Township and the Central Valley School District of revenue, since the land housing the facility is exempt from state and local taxes over the course of 22 years.
In March, Shell Chemical LP signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corporation to evaluate the site in Potter, where it could build the multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant. The Shell subsidiary chose a 300-acre area near Monaca, in close proximity to the Conway Railyards and approximately 15 miles from the Pittsburgh International Airport.
The company’s decision concluded a tri-state competition for private investment which began on June 6, when Shell Oil announced its plans to establish the ethane-processing plant in Pennsylvania, Ohio or West Virginia. Earlier this year, the tax exemptions the company was offered to choose Pennsylvania over the other regions became part of legislation in Harrisburg. The incentives are expected to bring savings of more than $1 billion.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the potential positive economic impact for the Pittsburgh region implies a $3.2 billion investment that would lead to the creation of more than 10,000 permanent jobs in the chemical and supplier industries. Furthermore, Shell expects 10,000 construction jobs would result from site development.
The proposed petrochemical complex would process locally produced ethane from Marcellus Shale gas production. The plant would chemically “crack” ethane into ethylene, the raw material used to make plastics and other materials and officials believe that the construction of the plant could lead to the establishment of other major plastics manufacturers in the area.
The company could still be years away from making a final decision on whether or not to establish the new plant. Further steps include additional environmental analysis, engineering design studies, assessment of the local ethane supply, as well as continued evaluation of the commercial feasibility of the project.
Gateway Health Plan Moves Principal HQ to Four Gateway Center2 Oct 2012, 4:43 am
Gateway Health Plan has leased 100,000 square feet of commercial space at the Four Gateway Center in downtown Pittsburgh and plans to move its headquarters to the new offices by April.
The company will occupy floors 17 to 21 and a portion of the first floor in the high-rise, which is part of the Gateway Center, a four-building, 1.5 million-square foot office complex owned and managed by Hertz Investment Group of Los Angeles.
The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Bill Leone and Pat Sentner of Colliers International represented Gateway Health in the negotiations. The company will be leaving the U.S. Steel Tower, where it subleases office space from PNC Financial Services Group Inc. and has been located since 2002.
According to a report released by CBRE Group, Pittsburgh’s average asking lease rates increased in all classes over the second quarter of 2012. Class A rates across the submarkets continue to increase each quarter, especially in the downtown market area. This trend is expected to continue as space becomes even more limited, giving property owners more leverage in lease negotiations.
In other news, Massaro Dawson Group plans to build a 320-unit apartment complex with four buildings and a clubhouse on a 6.43-acre surface parking lot adjacent to the South Hills Village T station. The new development is part of a $41.5 million transit oriented development recently approved by the Port Authority Planning and Stakeholder Relations Committee.
“Massaro Dawson Group has put forward an exciting plan to develop a 298,000 square-foot residential complex at the South Hills Village T Station, and we look forward to working with them to make this vision a reality,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commented in a press statement.
In exchange for the right to build the apartment community and the use of 160 parking spaces in the garage, the developer has proposed a 52-year lease worth more than $5.5 million. The exact terms of the lease agreement will be subject to final review and approval by the Port Authority Board of Directors and the Federal Transit Administration.
Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons
Chart courtesy of: CBRE Group, Inc.
ANSYS to Establish New Headquarters at Southpointe II Business Park20 Sep 2012, 7:26 pm
Southpointe-based technology company ANSYS will establish a new headquarters at the Southpointe II Business Park, less than a mile away from its current 107,000 square-foot space.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the company has signed a 15-year lease for a new 186,000-square-foot building scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2014. ANSYS also announced it plans to relocate its Station Square employees to the new offices next year.
“Although ANSYS technology is being used by more than 40,000 companies around the globe, we’re proud to call southwestern Pennsylvania home,” said Jim Cashman, CEO and president of ANSYS. “A combination of a business-friendly environment and access to nearby distinguished universities that produce highly skilled professionals continually fosters our growth and development and makes Washington County an ideal location to conduct business.”
Jones Lang LaSalle’s Tenant Representation group assisted the company in the site selection of the new headquarters. Current and future tenants at the Washington County development include Consol Energy, Range Resources and Mylan Inc.
In other news, the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Mellon University is expanding with the lease of approximately 38,000 square feet at the mixed-use Bakery Square development in the city’s East End. Developed by Walnut Capital, the 260,000 square feet of office space in the former Nabisco plant in Larimer is now fully occupied.
Paul Nielsen, the institute’s director and CEO announced that the federally funded research and development center plans to maintain its current headquarters in Oakland near the CMU campus. He added that the new space will help the organization prepare for the anticipated growth of its programs in software engineering and cybersecurity.
Jeremy Kronman and Andrew Miller of CBRE represented Walnut Capital in the lease and Keefe Ellis represented the Software Engineering Institute. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that space for the new tenant should be ready by next spring.
The office and retail complex on Penn Avenue opened in 2009 and it houses major tenants such as Google, the UPMC Technology Development Center and the University of Pittsburgh.
Photo credits: www.pittsburghhomesguide.com
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Opens in Latrobe13 Sep 2012, 2:11 am
Golfing legend Arnold Palmer and hospitality industry icon Bill Marriott have celebrated the opening of the SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe hotel in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, PA.
The 109-room, LEED-certified hotel is a joint venture between Palmer Hospitality, L.P., Concord Hospitality Enterprises and private investor Keith H. McGraw of Sewickley, PA.
The hotel will offer guests the opportunity to play at Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club located less than a mile away, a members-only golf club where Palmer learned to play.
“For years, I’ve wanted to build a hotel to complement the country club, and because this is my hometown, it was important to me that I partner with the right developer and the right operator and choose the right brand,” Palmer said.
SpringHill Suites Latrobe offers a 24-hour market, business services, same-day dry cleaning, guest laundry facilities, an indoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, fitness center and two additional meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 40 people. It also includes the 19th Hole cocktail lounge, created exclusively with golfers in mind.
Palmer’s other local endeavors include The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Arnold Palmer Pavilion and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, a community park dedicated to his late wife.
In other news, PMC Property Group has acquired the distressed James Reed Building at 435 Sixth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh during a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing in Los Angeles. The company’s $5.5 million bid was the highest of five solicited in advance of the court hearing.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the property’s California owners could not make a balloon payment on a PNC Bank mortgage and opted for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filling in order to avoid a sheriff sale. Michael Kamen and Gerson Fox purchased the nine-story building for $6.5 million in October 2008.
The Philadelphia developer now intends to convert the James Reed Building into residential space. The sale is expected to close by October 15, marking PMC’s seventh acquisition in downtown Pittsburgh.
Photo credits: www.springhillsuiteslatrobe.com
Bakery Square Expansion Plans Move Forward6 Sep 2012, 6:09 pm
The city planning commission has approved a zoning change for the Bakery Square 2.0 mixed-use project planned for the site of the former Reizenstein School in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty section. A final approval is now expected from the city council.
Plans call for more than 400,000 square feet of office, high-tech lab and retail space as well as a residential component. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, developer Walnut Capital has made one major change to the project, as it now intends to build 450 luxury apartments and townhouses, instead of the 90 townhouses and 20 single-family homes it proposed initially.
Gregg Perelman, Walnut Capital CEO, told the newspaper that the company based its decision on the demand for apartments in the East End.
“The market was telling us there was a high demand for urban one- to two-bedroom apartments,” he commented. “Like Downtown apartments, we feel that we need good-quality, urban living for people moving to Pittsburgh who want to live in Shadyside, [and] who want to live in the East End.”
The increased number of the proposed residential units has generated some degree of concern among residents of the neighboring Village of Shadyside, who will meet with the developer’s representatives to discuss the issue.
The city planning commission also approved a preliminary development plan for the 20-acre site, clearing the way for the demolition of the Reizenstein School in January. Once the site is cleared, the company will begin work on public infrastructure, for which the project recently received a $1.9 million federal grant. The development’s full built-out period is expected to span over five years.
As previously reported on this page, Walnut Capital Partners also completed the first phase of the project—Bakery Square at East Side (pictured above). The $130 million mixed-use redevelopment of the 1900-era Nabisco bakery in Larimer includes a 250,000 square feet LEED platinum building fully leased to tenants such as Google, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.
Photo credits: bakery-square.com
Downtown Mixed-Use Development to Break Ground3 Sep 2012, 4:09 am
Washington, Pa.-based Millcraft Industries Inc. will soon begin construction on its $86 million mixed-use development in downtown Pittsburgh.
Called The Gardens at Market Square, the 18-story high-rise will be developed on Forbes Avenue, between Market Square and Wood Street. The project will replace a number of smaller buildings with approximately 100,000 square feet of office space, a 176-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel, 25,000 square feet of retail on two levels and more than 300 parking spaces.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, construction firm Dck Worldwide LLC will be an equity partner, builder and anchor tenant for The Gardens. The company ranks as the sixth-largest construction contractor in the region and it plans to take about 30,000 square feet of office space in the building.
Popular restaurant Burgatory recently signed a lease with Millcraft to occupy 4,200 square feet of retail space in the Gardens, and expects to open its first downtown location in the summer of 2014. It is the project’s first restaurant tenant.
According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, The Gardens at Market Square is expected to create 230 construction jobs, approximately 800 permanent jobs and it will generate $4.3 million in annual tax revenues. Millcraft hopes to complete the project during the first quarter of 2014.
In other news, PMC Property Group has signed a sales agreement to purchase the Jackman Building at 526 Penn Avenue from Alco Parking. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the only tenants of the 10-story building are Subway and Quest Diagnostics, which occupy the first floor. The rest of the building is empty since the Art Institute of Pittsburgh moved out a decade ago.
Alco Parking president Merrill Stabile told the newspaper that PMC plans to convert the upper floors into apartments, as it has done or plans to do, with other buildings it has purchased. The sale is expected to close in 30 to 60 days, marking PMC’s fifth acquisition in downtown Pittsburgh in the last two years.
Photo credits: www.vue-pointe.com
City Receives Federal Grant For Bakery Square Expansion27 Aug 2012, 2:58 am
The City of Pittsburgh has received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the construction of public infrastructure at the $120 million Bakery Square 2.0 development.
Work will include installation of new utility lines, grading and build-out of new streets, sidewalks, and curbs, street lights, traffic signals, and related infrastructure. Throughout the funding process, the Urban Redevelopment Authority will serve as funding administrator and co-applicant with the Department of Public Works.
Walnut Capital Partners will develop the Bakery Square 2.0 mixed-use project on the site of the former Reizenstein School in the city’s East Liberty section. Plans call for more than 400,000 square feet of office, high-tech lab and retail space, as well as 90 luxury condominiums.
The development will provide leasing space for Pittsburgh’s growing population and attract new job-creating enterprises to the region. It is expected to generate millions in tax revenue and create thousands of jobs.
Walnut Capital Partners also completed the first phase of the project—Bakery Square at East Side, a $130 million mixed-use redevelopment of the 1900-era Nabisco bakery in Larimer. The 250,000 square feet LEED platinum building is fully leased to tenants such as Google, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.
“Bakery Square has been a great example of a successful public-private partnership to redevelop and re-purpose an old industrial site and revitalize a distressed community. Bakery Square 2.0 will build on the original project’s success and create more office and lab space for Google, UPMC, other current tenants, and new tenants from local universities and medical centers,” Congressman Doyle said at the press conference announcing the award.
Within the same announcement, the Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc. was awarded an $80,000 EDA grant. The funds will support the practical training of up to 100 potential entrepreneurs in the basics of business ownership and operations, with a focus on green entrepreneurship.
Photo credits: bakery-square.com
Shaner Group Restarts Foreclosed O’Hara Condo Development13 Aug 2012, 3:41 pm
State College-based Shaner Capital LP has restarted a 53-unit condominium project in the Allegheny riverfront development of Chapel Harbor in O’Hara Township.
The former Marbella project was stalled after its original developer, the Zambrano Corp., filed for bankruptcy in 2009. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Shaner Group acquired the foreclosed property last year for about $7 million and will spend another $8 million to complete the project, which it renamed Chapel Pointe.
Construction is under way on the first phase of the development which includes the completion of 23 units. Six condos in the five-story building have already been occupied and 24 more are planned for a second phase. The units will range in size from 1,407 square feet to 4,202 square feet, with prices going from $325,200 to $880,400. Amenities include two parking spaces and a storage locker for each unit, a fitness center, a private grilling area and gazebo, as well as the Chapel Harbor walking trail and river park.
In other news, the City of Pittsburgh plans to apply for a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help finance infrastructure costs for the $120 million Bakery Square II development in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is pursuing a process in which the Urban Redevelopment Authority would serve as funding administrator and co-applicant with the Department of Public Works.
Proposed by Walnut Capital Partners, Bakery Square II is expected to replace the former Reizenstein School with more than 400,000 square feet of office and retail space and 90 new homes. The development would generate $1.7 million in new tax revenue and create more than 1,000 jobs.
Walnut Capital Partners also completed Bakery Square at East Side, the $130 million mixed-use redevelopment of the 1900-era Nabisco bakery in Larimer. The LEED platinum building is fully leased and serves as Google’s regional offices.
Photo credits: Howard Hanna Condominium Division
ERT to Acquire Biomedical Company Invivodata12 Jul 2012, 3:20 pm
Global technology company ERT purchased Pittsburgh-based biomedical company Invivodata, Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition positions ERT as a leader in Clinical Outcome Assessments.
The transaction was facilitated by San Francisco-based private equity group, Genstar Capital LLC, which recently announced it has completed the acquisition of ERT.
In June, Invivodata changed its corporate headquarters by signing a lease for approximately 28,000 square feet of space in the seven-story Commerce Court building located at Station Square in the South Side.
Invivodata registered three consecutive years of revenues growth and profitability and reported record growth in 2011, through the addition of over 160 clinical projects. Industry reports show that the market for the collection of clinical outcomes data is expected to grow by over 50 percent in the next three years.
“Becoming a part of ERT will enable us to enhance the value we deliver. We truly appreciate the trust our customers have placed in us, and we look forward to expanding those relationships with our new colleagues at ERT,” said Doug Engfer, CEO of Invivodata.
In other news, Pittsburgh-based Renewable Manufacturing Gateway, a nonprofit group that organizes private equity investors, and Dallas-based EarthCure Inc. are planning to develop a precious metals refinery in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the refinery, called EarthCure Pittsburgh, will process jewelry, bullion and high-value medical waste to produce precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum. It is expected to take between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet and employ about nine people in its initial phase.
“EarthCure’s goal is to make Pittsburgh a leader in environmentally safe and efficient refining operations in the United States. Together RMG and EarthCure Pittsburgh seek to make Pittsburgh a center in the growing market of precious metals refining and medical waste recycling,” EarthCure Pittsburgh CEO Michael Alberts told the newspaper in a written statement.
The facility is expected to generate $100 million in revenue by 2016. Operations are slated to begin by the end of the year or early 2013.
Photo credits: southsidepghpa.com
Pittsburgh Penguins, University of Pittsburgh Plan for Sports Complex in Cranberry7 Jul 2012, 2:00 am
The Pittsburgh Penguins along with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) are planning a joint practice rink and sports medicine complex in Cranberry.
According to the patch.com, the proposed 150,000-square-foot complex would be located in the Summit of Cranberry Woods business park off Route 228, near Hilton Garden Inn. Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan told the newspaper that the facility would resemble the UPMC sports performance complex on Pittsburgh’s South Side, which includes sports medicine, practice and training facilities.
The Penguins plan to use the new rink when ice is not be available at the Consol Energy Center. The facility would also be open to the public for recreational skating and youth hockey programs such as Pittsburgh Penguins Elite.
UPMC is in the preliminary stages of buying the land from developer Don Rodgers and will need to seek approval for its plans from the township, the newspaper reports. UPMC spokeswoman Susan Manko said developers hoped to have the facility open by the summer of 2014.
In other news, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that a tax credit for the Shell Oil Co. ethane cracker planned for Beaver County would soon become available.
Legislators have approved an unlimited tax credit to encourage petrochemical companies to establish their presence in Pennsylvania. In order to qualify, companies need to invest a minimum $1 million in the plant and create at least 2,500 jobs. The measure was signed into law as part of tax code legislation for the 2012-2013 budget and will not take effect until 2017.
In March, Shell Chemical LP signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site in Beaver County, where it could build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex that would process gas locally produced from the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia. A decision could be reached in 18 to 24 months.
Photo credits: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
East Liberty Transit Center Project to Receive $15M Grant from Federal Government29 Jun 2012, 3:21 pm
The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority $15 million for the development of the East Liberty Transit Center, the next phase of the East Side project.
The multi-modal transit center is expected to serve nearly 1,000 daily bus trips. A new pedestrian bridge and walkway will be built, along with new parking for cars and bikes.
The East Side transportation-oriented development project is intended to upgrade the links between East Liberty and Shadyside. The Port Authority of Allegheny County and the Mosites Co. will also take part in the infrastructure investment that could total $34 million.
Steve Mosites, principal of Mosites Co. which developed East Side phases I and II, reportedly said that the new funding would activate his company’s next phases of development. Mosites considers different options on Penn and Highland avenues, possibly a mix of a hotel, retail, office and residential space. In the earlier phases of the Eastside plan, the company helped bring Whole Foods and Target to East Liberty.
The city has obtained preliminary environmental and historic review approvals for the transit center and hopes to begin development as soon as possible.
In regional news, PECO-ARC Institutional Joint Venture I acquired Northtowne Square – a Giant Eagle-anchored shopping center in Gibsonia – for $10.6 million. According to the Business Courier of Cincinnati, the 113,372-square-foot shopping center situated 15 miles north of Pittsburgh is 100 percent leased. The 86,500-square-foot Giant Eagle grocery store has a lease through January 2024. It is the number one grocer by market share in the Pittsburgh area.
PECO-ARC Institutional is a joint venture between Phillips Edison – ARC Shopping Center REIT Inc. and clients of the CBRE Global Multi Manager group. Phillips Edison – ARC is a public nontraded REIT that owns and manages 14 grocery-anchored shopping centers totaling more than 1.2 million square feet.
Photo credits: www.vagabondish.com
Buncher’s $400M Mixed-Use Project in Strip District Passes First Test26 Jun 2012, 6:40 pm
The Pittsburgh City Planning Commission has approved the establishment of a special planning district for Buncher Co.’s estimated $400 million, 37-acre mixed-use development in the Strip District. The project, called Riverfront Landing, will also need to go before the City Council for approval.
Under the plan, Buncher is proposing at least 750 housing units with more than 1,000 parking spots, 800,000 square feet of office space, about 200,000 square feet of retail and a 140-room hotel. Construction is expected to span over 10 years.
According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the first phase of the development includes three projects: a new 140,000-plus-square-foot office building at Smallman and an extension of 17th Street; the renovation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction Terminal Building; as well as a new apartment building behind it with at least 75 units. Plans also include the demolishing of one third of the Strip District’s historic produce terminal.
In May, the Urban Redevelopment Authority adopted a Tax Increment Financing plan for Buncher’s riverfront development. The plan calls for up to 10 percent of the overall project cost, funds that will be used for the improvement of the area’s infrastructure. The financing package of approximately $50 million will need to be approved by the city council, by the Allegheny County council and by the board of the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
In related news, Jones Lang LaSalle has been selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins to oversee the redevelopment of the former 28-acre Civic Arena site. The CityBizList Pittsburgh reports that the master plan calls for 1,200 units of housing, 600,000 square feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of commercial space.
Since the Civic Arena closed in 2010, the professional hockey team became the primary tenant of the $321 million Consol Energy Center across the street. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Penguins pay $5.56 million a year on the lease. The payment is expected to increase by $200,000 once the temporary 800-space parking lot planned at the site of the former Arena opens in August.
Photo credits: www.dlastorino.com
Shell Evaluates Site in Beaver County to Build $3.2B Gas Processing Facilities14 Jun 2012, 11:13 pm
Shell Oil Co. is assessing whether to build a multibillion-dollar petrochemical complex that would process gas locally produced from the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia. Shell said it would reach a decision in 18 to 24 months.
Shell Chemical LP signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. in March to evaluate a site in Beaver County, where it could build the plant. The company chose a 300-acre area near Monaca, close to the Conway Railyards and about 15 miles from the Pittsburgh International Airport.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the potential economic impact for the Pittsburgh region is $3.2 billion in investment that would lead to the creation of more than 10,000 permanent jobs in the chemical and supplier industries. Furthermore, Shell expects 10,000 construction jobs would result from site development.
The petrochemical plant would chemically “crack” ethane into ethylene, the raw material used to make plastics and other materials. Officials believe that the construction of the plant could lead to the establishment of other major plastics manufacturers in the area.
Sylvie Tran, development manager-Appalachia for Shell Exploration and Production Co. told the Pittsburgh Business Times that the company needed time to assess the commercial feasibility of the plant. Shell is also involved in elaborating the project’s environmental analysis with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
In other news, biomedical firm Invivodata, Inc. has signed a lease for approximately 28,000 square feet of space in the seven-story Commerce Court building located at Station Square in Pittsburgh’s South Side. The 378,000-square-foot office building belongs to Cleveland-based Forest City Commercial Management Inc. and includes ground-floor retail space.
“This milestone move of our corporate headquarters reflects our rapid growth, positions us to support the continued growth we anticipate, and reinforces our commitment to the Pittsburgh area”, said Doug Engfer, president and CEO of Invivodata.