The Pittsburgh-based energy company early Thursday announced it posted $110.9 million in net income, or 73 cents per share, during the three months that ended June 30. That’s a 27 percent increase over the $86.9 million profit on 58 cents a share it recorded in the same quarter last year.
While it’s no European-style piazza, some believe the area around the newly restored park could be primed to become one of Downtown’s next hot spots for restaurants and retail.
“I see it becoming the next great Downtown destination,” said Herky Pollock, executive vice president of the CBRE real estate firm.
Only a few years ago, the Smithfield Street corridor between Fifth and Liberty avenues that includes Mellon Square appeared to be ready for last rites.
From atop the Lando Building at Penn Avenue and Ninth Street, Todd Palacic can see PNC Park, kayaks on the Allegheny River, construction work on The Tower at PNC Plaza and glimpses of the shimmering glass of PPG Place.
Palacic, who is developing the seven-story structure into 27 apartments and building a deck on its roof, foresees tenants throwing parties, watching fireworks and lounging amid Pittsburgh’s skyline.
“People who live Downtown want to show off, and a deck allows them to show off,” Palacic, a developer at Penn Avenue Renaissance, said as he leaned over the deck railing to look out over the river. “A lot of first kisses will happen up here on this deck. I guarantee it.”
As more people move Downtown — the population jumped 10.5 percent in the past three years, reaching more than 7,500, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership — residents are claiming rooftops as social spaces to dine, drink, relax and take in sights. Restaurants have opened rooftop bars and seating areas. Nearly 10 apartment complexes boast roof patios and lounges, and new developments almost all have rooftop plans.
Two regional companies announced Wednesday that they will make Pittsburgh their headquarters — beckoned from their suburban bases by a desire to be in a thriving big city that could help increase their profiles.
Michael Baker International and the parent company of First National Bank of Pennsylvania aren’t pulling up the stakes and relocating all their employees to Pittsburgh from their old headquarters. They have simply identified Pittsburgh as the place they will call home.
Michael Baker International LLC, a $1.2 billion construction-engineering company, will move its headquarters and 65 workers from Moon to the two top floors of Bank of New York Mellon Center, Downtown, in December. It will still retain a significant presence in Moon.
F.N.B. Corp. said it will ditch Hermitage, Mercer County, as the headquarters city for the region’s third-largest bank. It said the decision to make the Pittsburgh North Shore its home base will not impact employees.
Downtown’s newest skyscraper has reached a milestone.
Scores of construction workers, with their hard hats on and cell phones recording the moment, watched from the ground today as the last steel beam for PNC Financial Services Group’s 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza was put into place.
The beam featured the signatures of many of the iron workers, carpenters and other tradesmen who have been working on the $400 million building, billed as the world’s greenest skyrise. Others signing the beam included officials with PNC, which intends to make the glass high-rise its new global headquarters.
Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination. Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.
A draft plan for improvements to the region’s transportation system envisions $4.7 billion in spending in the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania in the next four years, a 52 percent increase from the current four-year plan.
The plan for fiscal years 2015 through 2018 signals a reversal of years of diminished spending on infrastructure and public transit, bolstered by the funding bill that the Legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett enacted last fall. The draft Transportation Improvement Plan was released last week by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, a regional planning agency.
“From my perspective, we were able to add significant projects that were simply unaffordable in the last TIP update,” said Dan Cessna, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s district executive for Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties.
Among them is a $79 million rehabilitation of the Liberty Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh, which at present is weight-restricted and rated structurally deficient, meaning its components are deteriorated but not yet unsafe. Numerous smaller bridge and paving projects were added as well, he said.
As a $400 million project to build PNC Financial Services Group’s new corporate headquarters nears the midpoint, surrounding business owners are anxiously awaiting completion of Downtown’s biggest skyscraper in more than a quarter-century.
Some look forward to an anticipated boost in business. Others long for their misery to end.
“It’s tough to complain about progress, but this project has definitely been a struggle for us,” said Rob Kania, owner of Metropolitan Preschool & Nursery, which runs a Fifth Avenue facility in the shadow of the project.
Most agree The Tower at PNC Plaza will become a jewel in the city’s skyline. PNC hopes it will be the world’s most environmentally friendly office building.
The talk at Macy’s Downtown on Thursday was not so much about Father’s Day sales or new fall fashions as it was about plans to turn much of the venerable old building with the famous clock into residences.
Philadelphia developer Core Realty has reached an agreement to buy the 13-story building on Smithfield Street with the intent of converting all but four floors into apartments, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has learned.
As part of the sale, Macy’s department store would stay, although the number of floors devoted to retail would be shrinking once again. The store, once a 12-floor behemoth, is expected to be housed on the building’s first four floors, minus the mezzanine level, which would be closed and used as an entrance for residents.
Three years ago, Macy’s cut the number of floors in half, consolidating all retail, including furniture, on the first six floors of the building, plus the mezzanine.
Fred and Christine Thieman migrated from the suburbs to Downtown when their youngest child went to college about three years ago.
That year, for the first time in more than 90 years, the nation’s biggest cities, including Pittsburgh, grew faster than their suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy group.
The trend continued in each of the past two years, though growth rates for cities and suburbs hover around 1 percent and the gap between them is narrowing, Brookings reported in May.
But the population living Downtown has soared. Census data show the area was home to 12,343 people last year, up 10.5 percent from 2010.
There are Holiday Inns all over the land but not a one in Downtown. A Bridgeville developer is hoping to change that.
The Forza Group will brief the city planning commission Tuesday on a proposal to build an eight-story, 99-room Holiday Inn at 435 Fort Pitt Blvd. near Smithfield Street. The plan also includes a bar and restaurant and limited parking, nine spaces in all.
In documents filed with the planning commission, Forza said it hopes to have the $9 million project completed by June 2015.
“There’s really no [Holiday Inn] presence in the Downtown Pittsburgh area,” said Brock Hunt, Forza’s director of franchise relations. The closest is a Holiday Inn Express and Suites on South 10th Street, South Side.
Downtown resident Janie Robinson and her friend Donna Farmer, of Westwood, stop by the Market Square Farmers Market almost every Thursday to see “the honey man” after their morning silver sneakers class at the PNC YMCA.
For years, the friends have looked forward to the weekly summer market showcasing local vendors. For Ms. Robinson, the market is walking distance from her home on Stanwix Street. “The honey man’s” wildflower honey, Ms. Farmer says, is one of the best treatments for the nasal allergies that plague her during the spring and summer.
“We come here all the time, and will drop by to see him,” Ms. Farmer said today. “(The honey) is so fresh and good, straight from the beehive.”
Produced by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the farmers market runs every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 30. About 30 local vendors offer a variety of goods, selling everything from produce and pierogies to vegetarian dog treats.
When it comes to economic and residential growth, the Golden Triangle has had the golden touch in recent years, with almost $800 million in development under construction and about twice that much planned.
A study released on Thursday predicts that trend will continue with explosive development of apartments, hotels and retail and high-end office space in Pittsburgh’s Greater Downtown, including the Triangle, North Shore, South Shore, Uptown, the Bluff and near Strip District as far northeast as 31st Street.
“We’re only experiencing the beginning of Downtown’s transformation,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership.
The partnership produced the study, which looked at economic indicators in several key areas to evaluate Downtown’s vitality. It gave the results in a presentation at Union Trust Building — itself a symbol of Downtown’s revitalization.
Suzy Waldo can never call off work with the excuse that her car won’t start. And she can’t really justify showing up late for her shifts, either.
Ms. Waldo lives five blocks from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh South Side where she is the branch manager, and is among the relatively small but growing number of Pittsburghers who make their daily commutes by foot.
A new Census report looking at data from the past five years ranks Pittsburgh third among large cities with commuters who walk to work.
Five years of data from the American Community Survey show 11.3 percent of Pittsburghers commute by walking — ahead of New York City’s 10.3 percent, and just behind Boston, at 15.1 percent, and Washington, D.C., at 12.1 percent.
Mayor Bill Peduto wants more than publicity for Pittsburgh.
If the Democratic National Committee chooses to host its 2016 convention here, it must benefit businesses and city residents, Peduto said Tuesday.
“It’s obviously good promotion for the city,” he said. “Being a Democrat, I would also like to be able to promote my city to Democrats from around the country, as long as it comes in a way that benefits for more than just promotional purposes.”
The DNC asked 15 cities, including Pittsburgh, to submit proposals to host the presidential nominating convention in 2016. Peduto said he learned of the city’s selection late afternoon Monday. Earlier this year, Pittsburgh was among 30 finalists.
We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.
HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.
Kiran Patel says the days of turmoil at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh are finally over.
“The city and people at large want to see this property not as an eyesore,” Patel, the hotel’s owner since 2011, said this week.
Nearly $15 million in renovations were completed in January, adding three floors to the front of the building, more meeting space and a pool with a breathtaking view of the Fort Pitt Bridge and the Point.
But getting there was not easy. Patel, a Tampa physician and businessman, had to navigate the hotel out of bankruptcy, manage union unrest over a new contact, and complete the renovation project that was stalled for at least two years under the previous owners.
In a nondescript building in a city industrial park near Crafton, a big part of PNC’s $400 million Downtown skyscraper is being assembled piece by piece.
Permasteelisa Group, one of the world’s top contractors in the manufacturing and installation of building shells and interiors, has set up a mobile factory in the 80,000-square-foot warehouse to put together the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza‘s “double skin” glass facade.
Roughly half of the building shell is being assembled at the site, with the rest being done in Windsor, Conn., Permasteelisa’s North American headquarters.