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New York developer takes control of Allegheny Center in North Side

| Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, 12:18 p.m.

A New York developer that has been scooping up Pittsburgh properties has purchased the Allegheny Center complex on the North Side.

Faros Properties announced Thursday that it had taken a controlling interest in the 1.2-million-square foot office and parking complex. The deal closed late Wednesday, but terms were not disclosed.

A former shopping mall built in 1965, the center's future will become clearer over the coming weeks, said Jeremy Leventhal, managing partner of Faros Properties. He declined to say what he intended for the property.

“We saw an opportunity to improve the area, an opportunity to improve the facility,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I can't give you too much in terms of what we're planning. Part of it is a discovery process, figuring out the highest and best uses.”

The center, previously owned by California-based Allegheny Center Associates, is home to a number of financial and technology companies, including Bank of America and PNC Financial Services Group, the largest tenant.

Spokespeople for both banks declined to comment. PNC has said it hopes to consolidate its scattered workforce Downtown once its new corporate headquarters is completed. The 33-story tower is scheduled to open this fall.

Given its proximity to Downtown, Allegheny Center has a lot of potential and could become a major attraction to the North Side, said Herky Pollock, executive vice president of the real estate development firm CBRE. It could even take on some residential component.

“I would not be surprised one day to see Faros adding a multi-family component to this project given their expertise in this arena,” Pollock said. “With the ample parking, great public transportation and tremendous access, the future is very promising.”

Faros has a number of office and apartment properties spread throughout New York, Boston and Pittsburgh.

The company is attracted to cities with knowledge-based economies, Leventhal said, which is why it is drawn to Pittsburgh.

Faros has invested $175 million into residential properties in Pittsburgh, including the Allegheny Center Apartments, a four-building residential complex it purchased in March 2013 and renamed Park View.

Faros acquired Washington Plaza on Centre Avenue in Downtown in November 2012, renaming that property City View Apartments. And last November, it bought Carson Street Commons on the South Side.

Multimillion-dollar renovations are under way at each of those properties.

Chris Fleisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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