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Ambling University Development Plans Major Apartment Community in Pittsburgh

24 Jul 2014, 2:12 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

One of the largest new multifamily developments in Pittsburgh could soon rise between Fifth and Forbes avenues in Oakland.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Ambling University Development Group, LLC (AUDG) is planning the construction of a 389-unit apartment community at 3333 Forbes Ave., on the former Allegheny Health Department property.

The site is currently owned by MWK Forbes, LLC. The company’s previous plans for the land called for the construction of apartments, offices and a lodging facility. MWK Forbes now intends to sell the property for the apartment component and develop only the hotel, which entails an investment of about $20 million.

AUDG’s project, which will require two special exceptions due to the height and floor-area limits, could cost between $70 million and $100 million to develop. The city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment is expected to review the proposal on July 31.

If approved, the new apartment complex, which will cater to young adults, could be complete in 2016.

Georgia Petropoulos, executive director of Oakland Business Improvement District, says the business membership of her organization welcomes the development.

“My business district is very supportive of that project. They’re waiting for it to be developed,” she told the newspaper. “It’s going to be a pretty big development on that part of Forbes Avenue that we haven’t seen in decades.”

Based in Valdosta, Ga., Ambling University Development Group specializes in student housing projects. The company’s experience within the past decade includes 63 campus developments with over 35,000 beds.

According to the 2014 midyear report released by Integra Realty Resources, Pittsburgh’s multifamily market is quite strong.

In recent years, apartment vacancy rates have declined in the region, while rents have continued to grow.

A substantial amount of new construction now aims to absorb the area’s pent-up demand. In the city, there are 800 apartments under construction, while another 3,800 units are in the planning stages. In the suburbs, more than 2,000 units are currently being built, while another 2,000 are in the planning stages.

Photo credits: Wikipedia Commons



Michael Baker International, F.N.B. Corporation Establish Headquarters in Pittsburgh

16 Jul 2014, 6:34 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Engineering and consulting services firm Michael Baker International will be relocating its global corporate headquarters from Moon Township to downtown Pittsburgh by the end of this year.

The company has signed a ten-year lease to occupy 22,000 square feet of space on the top two floors of the iconic BNY Mellon Center at 500 Grant Street.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, Dan Adamski, a managing director in the Pittsburgh office of Jones Lang LaSalle, represented Michael Baker International in its search for the new headquarters, which will host about 65 employees.

“They definitely wanted to be in trophy space downtown, giving that it will be a client-facing office,” Adamski told the newspaper.

Scheduled to occur in December, the move will accommodate the company’s growth, which has reached more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue and more than 5,000 employees working from over 90 offices across the world.

In Pittsburgh, Baker has been involved in hundreds of major development projects, including the Fort Pitt Tunnel, the Squirrel Tunnel or the infrastructure throughout the stadium and convention center areas.

“We take immense pride in our company’s involvement in Pittsburgh infrastructure growth over the last 75 years and we are excited to reaffirm our commitment to the area and city through this relocation,” Michael Baker International CEO, Kurt Bergman, said in a news release.

The company also plans to maintain its Moon Township production office, which currently hosts 350 employees.

In other news, F.N.B. Corporation, parent company of First National Bank of Pennsylvania, has formally named Pittsburgh as its corporate headquarters.

According to the company’s announcement, customers and employees will not be impacted by the selection of the new headquarters, a regional office the bank opened on the North Shore in 2004. F.N.B. will maintain its operations center and support areas in the Hermitage campus, which has benefited from a $15 million investment in recent years, while the bank’s charter will remain in Greenville, Mercer County, where it was established 150 years ago.

“Naming Pittsburgh as F.N.B. Corporation’s official headquarters is a logical progression in our evolution as a regional financial services organization,” stated Vincent J. Delie, Jr., president and CEO of F.N.B. Corporation. “Pittsburgh currently serves as the headquarters for our Wealth and Insurance lines of business, and its close proximity to Hermitage permits us to recruit effectively for both locations. This broadens our pool of potential employees, allowing us to choose from among the top financial professionals in the country to support our continued expansion.”

Photo credits: Derek Jensen via Wikipedia Commons



Mosites Selects Morgan Management to Operate Upcoming Apartments on Pittsburgh’s Eastside; Larimer Lands $30M HUD Grant for Housing Redevelopment

2 Jul 2014, 8:14 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Mosites Co. has formed a joint venture partnership with Morgan Management for the operation of its three apartment buildings currently under construction at the East Liberty Transportation Center, the Pittsburgh Business Times reports.

Rising in the city’s East Liberty neighborhood, on a four-acre parcel that spreads from Highland Avenue to Penn Avenue, the Eastside III mixed-use project will bring a total of 360 apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail, more than 500 parking spaces and an improved bus line station. The first apartment building is scheduled to open next year, while the remaining two will be completed at a later date.

Steve Mosites, principal of The Mosites Co., told the newspaper that Morgan would manage the residential component of the development, while Mosites would handle the leasing and management activities related to the other portions of the project.

Based in suburban Rochester, N.Y., Morgan owns and operates 14 apartment properties in western Pennsylvania.

Mosites’ other partners for the East Liberty Transportation Center include the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the city, county, state and federal government, general contractor P.J. Dick and Design Collective of Baltimore.

In other news, Pittsburgh is one of the four cities in the nation to receive a $30 million federal grant through the Choice Neighborhoods program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the revitalization of blighted neighborhoods. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the city will use the funds to develop about 350 units of mixed-income housing and mixed-use development in Larimer.

The other cities that were awarded the HUD grant are Norwalk, Conn., Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia.

“HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports local visions for how to transform high-poverty, distressed communities into neighborhoods of opportunity,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press release. “By working together, with local and state partners we will show why neighborhoods should always be defined by their potential—not their problems. Together, we will work to ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code and expand opportunity for all.”

Photo credits: eltransitcentertod.com



PNC Financial Tops Off $400M Green Headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh

26 Jun 2014, 2:03 pm

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The new home of one of America’s oldest and strongest financial institutions is nearing completion. The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. recently celebrated the topping off of its new global headquarters, The Tower at PNC Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh.

The building is located on the Southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Wood Street, the same Pittsburgh intersection where PNC has been headquartered for more than 150 years. Upon its opening in the fall of 2015, the new 33-story, 800,000-square foot tower will house approximately 2,200 employees.

Planned as the world’s greenest skyscraper, the project features a double glass facade and a solar chimney, which enhance energy efficiency by reducing cooling costs and allowing natural airflow to the building. Through the use of ground-breaking technology, the structure will ventilate naturally at least 42 percent of the year and consume 50 percent less energy than a typical office building. Moreover, floor-to-ceiling windows and narrow floor plates will allow daylight to illuminate 90 percent of all open workspaces, while a water recycling system will reduce annual water consumption by 77 percent.

The tower’s cutting-edge sustainability is in fact expected to exceed LEED Platinum certification and set the new standard for green building.

“The tower’s construction is a reflection of PNC’s commitment to Pittsburgh and a testament to our tremendous growth over the past decade,” Bill Demchak, PNC chairman, president and CEO, said in a news release. “The new headquarters will serve as a statement about the importance that we place on sustainability and innovation and on providing the best-possible environment for our employees.”

PNC’s partners in the project include local general contractor PJ Dick, Inc.; global design firm Gensler; U.K.-based engineering firm Buro Happold and green building consultant Paladino & Company of Seattle, among others.

PNC opened its first green building in 2000. At that time, the 650,000-square-foot PNC Firstside Center, on Pittsburgh’s First Avenue, was the largest LEED-certified building in the United States.

PNC now owns more newly constructed buildings LEED-certified by the USGBC than any other company in the country. It recently completed its latest green office building in Washington, D.C. LEED Platinum certified PNC Place at 800 17th Street is located just blocks from the White House and serves as PNC’s regional headquarters in the capital.

Photo credits: www1.pnc.com/pnctower



New Office Complex Going Up on Pittsburgh International Airport Property in Findlay

19 Jun 2014, 1:57 pm







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By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Oxford Development Company is planning the construction of up to 100,000 square feet of speculative flex office space in Findlay Township.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Allegheny County Airport Authority has approved a 50-year lease for the site of the new development, a 16-acre parcel located at 1600 Industry Drive.

The project, which consists of a single, larger flex office building or two separate buildings, would bring Oxford’s first development in the Parkway West corridor, where demand for office space is high.

Shawn Fox, director of business development for Oxford, told the newspaper that the flex-style floor plan is especially popular in the area’s office market, since it enables tenants to spend less.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin toward the end of the year and wrap up by next summer.

Under the lease, Oxford will pay $95,000 in the first year, an amount which is slated to increase over the course of the agreement.

In recent years, the airport corridor has seen a remarkable office development activity. Other projects in the area include a $12 million office building currently under construction at McClaren Road. Burns & Scalo Real Estate Services is the developer of the 60,256-square-foot facility, half of which is already committed.

Further, Continental Real Estate Companies and Chaska Property Advisors are developing a four-building office complex near the Cherrington business park. Two of the facilities have been completed and leased; one is currently being built, while construction on the fourth is scheduled to begin this fall.

Meanwhile, in Moon, DiCicco Development Inc. has completed the 130,000-square-foot Westpointe Corporate Center Four, more of half of which will be occupied by Calgon Carbon Corp.

“Our focus in the County has been on creating shovel-ready land to encourage development and growth, and attract new businesses, particularly on county-owned property,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a news release. “We have watched the airport corridor flourish and have seen businesses, both new and established, take advantage of the opportunities in our region. We’re thrilled to see this development by Oxford and look forward to their continued growth.”

Photo credits: www.oxforddevelopment.com







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