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Stadium Authority agrees to sell North Shore parking lot for development

| Thursday, March 28, 2013, 12:15 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Stadium Authority on Thursday authorized selling a North Shore parking lot for $1.1 million to a Columbus, Ohio-based developer that plans to build a pair of three-story office buildings.

Continental Real Estate Cos. has two restaurant operators committed to moving in but no office tenants, despite strong interest from small to midsized companies, said Barry Ford, president of development for Continental.

“The interest has been incredible,” said Herky Pollock, executive vice president of CBRE Inc., which is working with Continental. “Doing it on (speculation) speaks volumes about the strength of the development team and the site.”

The sale is expected to close in July. Construction on $28 million North Shore Place I and II would begin by August. High demand for Class A, top-quality office space prompted Continental to add a floor to its plans last year.

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grille and the North Park Deckhouse restaurant committed to the project. There's room for three to four additional “eatertainment” venues, Pollock said.

One spot could go to Burgatory. Negotiations are under way with the restaurant that offers burgers and milkshakes.

Construction of the buildings will eliminate about 230 parking spaces from Gold Lot 2, the site of the office complex.

The Stadium Authority in December gave Continental a 90-day extension to close on the property to provide time to find an anchor tenant.

Ford said construction, once it begins this summer, would take about a year and would be completed in summer 2014.

The Stadium Authority in 2003 granted Continental, through a joint venture with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pirates, exclusive rights to redevelop surface parking lots resulting from the 2001 demolition of Three Rivers Stadium.

Critics have said the Stadium Authority could have received more money for some of its land if it had offered to sell parcels on a competitive basis rather than to a pre-selected developer.

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

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