Almost Heaven (Almost Pittsburgh)

The Pittsburgh market seems to be suffering from the same post-election/pre-fiscal cliff  blues as the rest of the nation but 90 minutes to the south things are hopping.

West Virginia University and its related institutions are as active as any owner in the western PA market at the moment; and Pittsburgh contractors have taken notice. Today the $30 million Student Health/CPASS project went out to bid to six pre-qualified contractors (KBR, March Westin, Massaro, PJ, Turner, Whiting-Turner) with bids due on Dec. 20. Tomorrow the $30 million Advanced Engineering Building job bids to Massaro, Mascaro, PJ, Turner, Walsh and Whiting-Turner.

Two WVU projects were recently awarded to Pittsburgh generals. Landau was awarded the $11 million Law Library and MBM Contracting was selected to build the $15 million Rosenberg Family House at WVUH. That’s the first building in the $250 million WVUH South Tower Expansion project, which is expected to go forward with a $80 million phase next spring/summer.

Also related to WVU is the $70 million University Place development, a privately-funded student housing complex that is being proposed by Morgantown’s Paradigm Development. WVU will be the major tenant. The contractor is Turner Construction, from you know where.

The university also has its $7.5 million Art Museum project out for RFQ to qualify general contractors on Nov. 27. The price tag on that one should attract even more Pittsburgh generals. With metro Pittsburgh sliding towards a slow end to 2012 – even with a huge pipeline of projects in the works – the relief valve that WVU is providing is quite welcome, although the local contractors may not agree.

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