PNC to Acquire Former Lord & Taylor Building

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor PNC Financial Services Group will acquire the former Mellon Bank building at Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. PNC has reached a deal with Forest Hills-based J.J. Gumberg Co. to purchase the property for an undisclosed amount, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The transaction

PNC Financial Services Group will acquire the former Mellon Bank building at Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh. PNC has reached a deal with Forest Hills-based J.J. Gumberg Co. to purchase the property for an undisclosed amount, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The transaction should close by the end of June.

The 120,000-square-foot six-floor historic structure has been vacant since the Lord & Taylor department store closed in November 2004. In February 2005, Gumberg purchased the property for $2.5 million, but was unable to find any tenants.

According to Ira J. Gumberg, Gumberg’s president and CEO, the sale is beneficial to both the buyer and the Downtown Pittsburgh area. PNC is planning renovations to meet or exceed LEED certification standards for commercial interiors and will not alter the building’s historical significance or exterior architecture. The bank expects to move at least 800 employees into its new facility by the end of 2013 or early 2014.

In regional news, Collier Development LLC and Lawrenceville Corp. are in the process of selecting a design firm for the development of a master plan on the vacant 10-acre Iron City Brewery site in Lawrenceville. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that Chip Desmone of Desmone & Associates, Dennis Astorino of DLA Architecture and RSSC of the North Hills are on the short list of designers.

Collier Development acquired the property in early February and will provide private financing for the project, while Lawrenceville will serve as an agent in order to acquire public funds.

Jack Cargnoni, partner in Collier Development, told the newspaper that the site could be developed for condominium housing, warehouses and possibly a hotel. Matthew Galluzzo, Lawrenceville Corp. executive director, said the master plan should take about four months to complete. Representatives from local community organizations, the city of Pittsburgh and elected officials are expected to participate in the process.

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