Share This Page

Developer eyes Fed building Downtown for hotel or offices

| Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 1:03 p.m.

M&J Wilkow Ltd. of Chicago, which purchased the Waterfront shopping complex in the Homestead-West Homestead-Munhall region in October, is planning to buy the vacant Federal Reserve Bank building Downtown.

The company revealed Wednesday that it had an agreement to buy the 12-story building for an undisclosed price from the Federal Reserve. The Fed staff relocated in October to One Oxford Centre, Downtown.

“We should close within 40 days on the property, which we have obtained a sales agreement,” said Martin Sweeney, M&J's vice president of acquisitions, who made the announcement at an Urban Land Institute panel discussion at the Rivers Club.

June Gates, a spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, which oversees the Pittsburgh operations, declined to confirm the bank's agreement with M&J.

“We don't have a sale yet, so I don't have any information for you at this time,” she said.

M&J may convert the building into an office building or a boutique hotel, Sweeney said.

He said the company probably would use a partner to complete the deal but did not identify one.

“This would make a great place for a data center since the building has a major vault,” Sweeney said.

The vault deep inside the building measures 38 by 60 feet and is covered by a steel door that is 30 inches thick.

Among changes planned for the building are adding a 3,000-square-foot rooftop deck, installing a fitness center and gutting the interior but not touching the mechanical systems, which are modern and efficient. There also is a parking deck.

The building, at 715 Grant St., was built in 1931.

Until 1997, the Pittsburgh branch sorted worn currency from Western Pennsylvania banks, shredded bad bills and stored the ones fit for continued circulation until sent to banks. The Cleveland bank took over those functions after 1997.

M&J teamed with Big Shopping CentersUSA of California to purchase the Waterfront for a reported $110.1 million.

Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or sspatter@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.