Amazon is Looking

The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance held its annual “Winsday” luncheon March 26 and announced that the number of expansion or new business “wins” in 2013 rose 12% to 302. The PRA looks at capital expenditures and development that results in a new business starting or attracted to the region or an expansion. Within the various business sectors, manufacturing had the most wins, 65 compared to 59 in 2012. The information technology sector was second, with a leap to 51 wins vs. 33 in 2012.

There are a couple of big commercial real estate projects happening. Master developer Buncher Co. is looking to qualify apartment developers to handle the construction of the first residential portion of its riverfront project in the Strip District. The first 100 units or more will be developed at the 21st Street access point to the site. Online retailer Amazon is reportedly looking for 250,000 sq. ft. for later in 2014. Amazon’s requirements will limit the number of opportunities available in Pittsburgh but the more interesting note about its entry into the market is the potential for growth. If Amazon grows its fulfillment/logistics needs as it has in other regions, a facility that is three or four times as large should be expected inside five years.

In the competitive bid market, one interesting project out this week is a major mechanical/electrical infrastructure project at Verizon’s Seventh Street office Downtown. The complete list of invited contractors and subcontractors on the roughly $20 million project is at the Builders Exchange but the generals invited are Allegheny, Burchick, Jendoco & Martini. Paragon Foods is taking design-build proposals for a $12 million cold storage warehouse in Lawrenceville.

UPMC selected PJ Dick as the contractor for the deconstruction of the old Childrens Hospital. PJ was also reportedly selected as CM for the Tepper School but Carnegie Mellon has made no announcement.

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