For Internet security company, everything once old is new again
Tiversa Inc. is restoring the exterior of its new Downtown headquarters to look much like it did when it was a department store in the early 20th century.
Inside, “it's more like ‘Star Trek,' ” CEO Robert Boback said of the Liberty Avenue building where the Internet security and intelligence company is relocating from offices in Cranberry.
Tiversa has just under 40 employees and easily could double that number in the next year, Boback said. The company monitors the Internet for about a million clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to global law enforcement agencies and individuals — finding sensitive files that might be exposed, for example, or guarding consumers' data against identity theft.
The move to the former Meyer Jonasson & Co. store will allow Tiversa to triple its space, to about 30,000 square feet. It also provides a visible, city-center locale that should help the company to attract talented software engineers and other professionals, Boback said.
“It's close to Market Square, and we loved the architecture,” Boback said. “It was a goal of ours to take a building that dates to 1900, leave the classic architecture in place and renovate the interior to make it as high-tech as possible.”
Tiversa, which bought the building for $2.6 million in April and occupies the fifth floor, is renovating the sixth and seventh floors and using the second floor as storage. A large basement is being converted to a fitness and recreation area.
The company's relocation should be completed by late September.
The building where Jonasson, a New York merchant, opened his women's and children's clothing store in 1909 has several tenants: Joseph Orlando Gentlemen's Clothier on the first floor, plus real estate firm Langholz Wilson Ellis Inc. and architects Celli Flynn Brennen. The Jonasson's store operated until 1963.
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership CEO Jeremy Waldrup said Tiversa, with its move, “wanted to put themselves out there as a Pittsburgh business leader.”
In addition to restoring the ornate structure that sits slightly diagonal to Liberty Avenue, the company will be a founding partner of the Green Building Alliance's Pittsburgh 2030 District, pledging to cut its energy, water and transportation use in half by that year.
Boback said Tiversa started in Moon, later moved to Franklin Park and was outgrowing its leased space in Cranberry, prompting the latest change of address.
The company also needed more network bandwidth, and figured it could make changes more easily in a building it owned, he said. Tiversa has a backup data location 80 miles away.
Downtown is an easier commute for employees who live in all directions from the city, not just the North Hills, said Boback, a Pittsburgh native who founded Tiversa in 2004 with partner Sam Hopkins, who since has retired.
Early on, prospective investors urged Tiversa to move to a technology hub such as Palo Alto, Austin or Boston, to find a bigger pool of talented job candidates.
“I took that as a challenge. I said, ‘We will grow a great business here,'” he said.
Waldrup said other technology companies have moved Downtown recently including Maya Design, from the South Side, and event ticketing company ShowClix Inc. from Shadyside.
Tiversa is expanding its product offerings. A new service called Dreya, targeted for entertainers, soon will debut, Boback said.
Music and movie sales in the past could be tracked through store sales but, “in a downloading world, artists don't know where their fans are anymore,” Boback said. Dreya will, for example, provide global “heat maps” that show where a band is most popular and where marketing dollars should be spent.
Kim Leonard is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5606 or email@example.com.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Steelers linebackers are getting to quarterback with more regularity
- Pirates win bidding for Korean infielder
- No. 18 West Virginia pounds Wofford, 77-44
- Dixon says starters playing too much for Pitt basketball team
- Penguins rally late but lose to Panthers, 4-3, in shootout
- Pitt recruit Whitehead remains committed
- Kids know best: It’s Santa magic
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin won’t ask for taunting clarification from league
- Robert Morris repels winless Delaware, 84-81
- Wear with confidence: Pump up your workout with stylish exercise gear
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings