Celebrating Excellence In Development

On March 28th, 2019, we will be co-chairing the annual prestigious Pittsburgh NAIOP Awards Banquet.  We are so proud and excited to be a part of this event, and to date there are over 800 attendees.  The year 2018 marked another great time for development in and around the city of Pittsburgh.  There were so many great projects, the committee had a difficult task in selecting our eight award winners for the evening.  Many top-notch developments just missed the cutoff date this year, but will definitely be in the mix for 2020. While we roll out all of the details during the Awards Banquet, we wanted to highlight a bit of information on our award winning projects and individuals.

Our first award is Office Renovation. The award goes to the M&J Wilkow & Centersquare Investment Management for their overhaul of 420 Boulevard of the Allies.

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420 Boulevard of the Allies involved extensive renovations to the 157,290 square foot core and shell to re-purpose the building from the former Art Institute of Pittsburgh to a commercial office use.

For Speculative-Industrial, the award goes to 200 Solar completed by Ashley Capital.

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In late 2015, Ashley Capital acquired 24 acres in Findlay Industrial Park located approximately 3 miles from I-376 and the Pittsburgh International Airport in metropolitan Pittsburgh’s fastest growing industrial submarket. In 2016 Ashley began construction of a 316,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, distribution/light industrial facility known as Findlay Commerce Center (FCC).  FCC is the largest speculative industrial building built in metropolitan Pittsburgh since 2008. FCC’s first tenant was Bridgestone Tire, now known as TireHub.  TireHub was joined by National Tire Wholesale and just recently by Signode Industrial Group.

Our newest awards category,  Tech Flex,  goes to RIDC for Tech Forge on 47th.  Tech Forge was built on the historic 14-acre Heppenstall Steel Company site, a Pennsylvania Brownfield as defined by Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act.

A number of funders helped contribute to the Tech Forge project including: Huntington Bank, US Bank, PIDA, Pittsburgh Urban Initiative and Mid-City Community. The total capital investment in the Tech Forge project was approximately $22 million.

In our Built-to-Suit Office category Oxford Development takes home the trophy for their Argo AI at 3 Crossings development.

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3 Crossings is a 20-acre mixed-use development in the vibrant and eclectic Strip District neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Argo AI was established to tackle one of the most challenging applications in computer science, robotics and artificial intelligence: self-driving vehicles.

Our 2019 Driver of Development is The Mosites Company for their catalytic developments in the Eastside, beginning with Eastside I or, as many of you know it, Wholefoods.

Phase I of the project saw the opening of Whole Foods Market in 2002, with sales that nearly tripled the company projections, proving wrong those who thought the location was too urban and risky to support retail activity.

Our 2019 Developer of the Year is Al. Neyer. Al. Neyer has been dominating industrial development in our market with its significant, multi-phase Clinton Commerce Center speculative project in Findlay Township, and build-to-suit projects for clients like Hennecke, Inc. The firm has been working in Pittsburgh for nearly 20 years and has a reputation for its ability to solve problems and provide clients with excellent communication and personal service.

Finally, for our individual awards, we have two great leaders up for Hall of Fame and Supporter of Development, Jim Palmer and Dick Donley.

The Supporter of Development award goes to Jim Palmer.  As President of CED, Mr. Palmer facilitates private investment and job creation by managing the strategic investments made in businesses and communities to expand and diversify the Beaver County economy.  Jim has over 40 years of community and economic development experience. Palmer’s leadership was integral in attracting Shell Chemicals to Beaver County, navigating both the local and state waters.

NAIOP’s Hall of Fame award goes to Dick Donley.  Mr. Donley has devoted his career to the commercial real estate community in Pittsburgh.  Dick is the president of Chaska Property Advisors. Beginning with his first job, working for Pittsburgh National Bank in 1972,  Mr. Donley spent two decades financing commercial real estate deals, working also for Westinghouse Credit and Carey Kramer Crouse & Associates. He seized an opportunity to partner with Mike Zamagias in 1990 in a venture known as Delta Property Holdings, which worked out and restructured seven million square feet of shopping centers. In 1999, Donley saw an opportunity to begin developing projects, forming Chaska Property Advisors and taking over the build out of the Cranberry Business Park. 

The high caliber of this year’s awardees is evident, and we look forward to celebrating their excellence on March 28th at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. With over 700 RSVPs the 26th Annual NAIOP Pittsburgh Awards Banquet should be one of the best. Development Happens Here!

If you’re not registered, we encourage you to sign up to attend here.

Erica Loftus