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Real estate notes: Industrial Scientific headquarters to open by 2015

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

• An opening in the third quarter of 2015 is expected for Industrial Scientific's 200,000-square-foot headquarters, currently under construction on a 36.6-acre site on Bayer Road in Robinson. “The new facility will enable consolidation of all of our operations to one location, from customer service, to manufacturing, to product development, and much more,” said Garth Miller, vice president of customer operations. The company's 400 employees in the Pittsburgh area are currently at four locations: the corporate headquarters at 1001 Oakdale Road, the Global Distribution Center in the Imperial Business Park, 150 Crown Court, and the Service Center at 7848 Steubenville Pike, all in Oakdale; and the Design and Customer Operations Center, 125 Enterprise Drive, Findlay. The company has not decided what to do with these facilities once the new building is completed.

• Innovation Ridge, formerly known at Tech 21, has improved its access by having Warrendale-Bayne Road, between Interstate 79 and Route 19, widened to four lanes and the Warrendale-Bayne Road intersection with Route 19 improved. The total cost of construction for both projects was $4.2 million, using federal funds provided through PennDOT, said Don Smith, president, Regional Industrial Development Corp. of Southwestern Pennsylvania, owner of the site. A Bayer unit (formerly Medrad) is on the site, and RIDC will continue to seek technology and research-and-development tenants and corporate campuses for the 223-acre site. A $400,000 grant through the Allegheny County Gaming Economic Development Fund was recently awarded the project.

• A proposal for a 1,440-square-foot addition to an existing two-story structure at 260 42nd St., Lawrenceville, for use as eight residential units, by Botero Development on property owned by Cobble House Holdings LP, will be sought Thursday from the Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment. Also that day, Rattcorp (doing business as William Penn Tavern) will seek approval to expand the restaurant at 739 Bellefonte St., Shadyside, by 1,112.5 square feet. On property owned by Guyasuta-Liberty LLC at 5150 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield, approval will be sought by TKA Architects for a multi-unit, four-story building with 1,450 square feet, ground-floor commercial and four dwelling units above, plus four integral parking spaces; and LED Experts will seek approval for a 31-square-foot new canopy sign for a penthouse at 1620 Pennsylvania Ave., Chateau.

• Robert Rubenstein, acting executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, has been named the 2013 Public Executive of the Year by the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits for “his outstanding contributions in the community development field.” He and other honorees received awards at the sixth annual Community Development Awards ceremony at Novogradac New Markets Tax Credit Conference in New Orleans on Oct. 10.

• At the recent inaugural Placemaking Awards held by Pittsburgh's Urban Land Institute, ex-Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy was honored. Additional awards were given for Catalytic Placemaking to Market Square Place, Downtown; the Visual Placemaking award to Point Park University's Academic Village Initiative; the Community Placemaking award to East End Cooperative House, East Liberty; and the Cool Placemaking Award to Assemble, in Garfield.

• The Redevelopment Authority of Washington County is involved in two projects involving housing for the elderly. A dedication service for the newly renovated eight-story, 104-unit Liberty Tower High-Rise for the Elderly was held recently at the building's location, 520 Liberty St., California, Pa. The $2 million project included a new roof, new common area floor coverings, window treatments, painting, furniture and acoustical tile ceilings on the first floor and improvements on all seven elevator lobbies, energy efficiency improvements and new lighting protection system. The project for Liberty Tower, originally opened in June 1981, was designed by Gerard Associates Architects and constructed by Waller Corp. Inc. Funding was through the FHA 223(F) loan program, which is a non-recourse, fully amortized loan with an interest rate of 3.5 percent on a $2.6 million mortgage. And a long waiting list has prompted the authority to expand the 65-unit Century Plaza Apartments for the elderly by adding a 14-unit, two-story building at a cost of $1.85 million. A second elevator will be added, said Bill McGowen, the authority's executive director. The apartment is built for low-income individuals through use of tax credits.

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

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