Opportunities Are Coming Back in Pittsburgh

As the weather is routinely hanging around 50 degrees there appears to be a chill in the non-residential construction market as well. While a number of high profile, big-dollar construction projects continue towards completion, there are some interesting projects being bid.

The most interesting project to come out of late is the $30 million tenant buildout of the K & L Gates space in the former Arriva building (formerly Freemarkets, formerly One Oliver Plaza, now cleverly named K & L Gates Center). Perhaps the timing for K & L isn’t so great, coming on the heels of a 5% staff reduction announcement, but for the construction industry it’s a good job.

Lehman Smith McLeish out of Washington DC is the architect on the project, which is a 240,000 sq. ft. tenant improvement with facade and plaza renovations. They have asked bids March 27 from P. J. Dick, Massaro, Rycon, Mascaro, Continental and Turner.

UPMC just let a interesting project to Allegheny Construction Group at the new Children’s Hospital campus. The work is a $10 million plus renovation to the 12-story Plaza Building which was formerly, in part, the nuns’ residence. The upper five floors will house the new Ronald McDonald House and the lower floors will be converted into offices.

Oxford Development is in the process of bidding and contracting the partial demolition of the Expo Mart to make way for new offices for Caremark, and the renovation of the former Wickes Furniture Store for use as a replacement Monroeville Convention Center. Rycon Construction is doing the Caremark work and the Wickes building, and another piece is out to bid now.

In Cranberry the Victory Family Church is using Tallahassee-based COSCO & Associates as architect/construction manager to find a team for a 128,150 sq. ft. expansion of their facility. No one has released a budget but the project will be north of $10 million.

And at the end of the month the $98 million Bethel Park High project will hit the streets.

It’s pretty clear that the recessionary forces squeezing the national economy are being felt here, but it’s also clear that there are going to be projects built in Pittsburgh anyway.

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