Share This Page

Stadium Authority gives developer more time to sign tenants for North Shore project

| Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, 12:28 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Stadium Authority on Friday granted a three-month extension to a developer planning a $26 million office complex between PNC Park and Heinz Field on the North Shore.

Officials with Continental Real Estate of Columbus, Ohio, told the authority's board of directors they need more time to finalize a lease with a key office tenant before they commit to build North Shore Place I and II with three stories apiece, instead of two, as Continental originally proposed in March.

“The building is designed and teed up and ready to go. What we need is an anchor tenant,” said Barry Ford, president of development for Continental. The anchor tenant is needed to secure the financing necessary to build a larger building.

Strong demand for Class A office space prompted Continental to add a floor to its plans in October. The city's Planning Commission approved the design in November.

Ford said the office buildings will be finished in early 2014, as planned, but he can't guarantee they'll be three stories until a key potential tenant commits to leasing the extra space. He declined to identify the prospective tenant.

“Unfortunately, as everybody knows, in this day and age you don't build empty office buildings — they need to have tenants,” Ford told the board.

Two restaurant tenants committed to opening on the buildings' first floors.

They are Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grille and the North Park Deckhouse restaurant. The remaining office space does not have committed tenants and is being built primarily on a speculative basis, said Jason Stewart, an executive with real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, which is working with Continental.

Stewart said potential office tenants typically give themselves four to nine months to finalize a lease before moving into a new location. Once complete, North Shore Place I and II would be the first office buildings built on the North Shore since the nearby Del Monte Center, another Continental project, opened in 2006.

“(Building) density is incredibly important to us,” Michael Danovitz, a Stadium Authority board member, told Ford. “Three stories is our preferred building (design) there, so we hope you keep working toward a lease.”

The Stadium Authority, which controls the land between the stadiums, unanimously granted the extension of Continental's year-end deadline to close on the North Shore Drive property, which now is a parking lot.

Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or jboren@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.