Thursday, March 12, 2009
City officials took a hardhat tour today of three developments that are just off Market Square. The developments play into the mayor’s efforts to redesign the square and revitalize the area with a new European piazza feel. Among the new projects is a redevelopment of the old G.C Murphy building on the eastern edge of the square. Developer Lucas Piatt says despite the slow national economy demand is high for his project. He says he has 348 names on a waiting list or the 46 apartments. He notes that Pittsburgh was just named the best rental market in the nation. The project also has 75 thousand square feet of retail space of which a new YMCA will take half. Piatt says interest in the space from national retail chains is slow but he thinks he will be able to fill it in time for the September opening. The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation is working on a set of old buildings on Market Street. President Arthur Ziegler says the 7 new apartments will add to the growing 24-7 feel of the golden triangle. Ziegler says the buildings were once owned by the city and were allowed to begin falling apart because it was then the plan to demolish the entire block to make way for a new development. The third project is on Fifth just off Market and is being developed by one of the owners of Primanti Brothers. Nick Nicholas owns 10 buildings downtown and several other businesses including Nicholas Coffee Company. He says right now he has a portion of his project already leased but he still has a lot of square footage to fill. However, he says he is optimistic because the downtown market is strong. He says despite the slow economy his businesses and those he rents to have been doing well this year and many are even doing better than last year.
Posted by Mark Nootbaar at 3:09 PM