State To Review Unused Office Space In Downtown Pittsburgh

By Andy Sheehan, KDKA Investigator

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Reacting to a KDKA Investigation into unused office space leased in downtown Pittsburgh by the state, a spokesman for Governor Tom Corbett calls it a “terrible deal for taxpayers.”

With Auditor General Jack Wagner, KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan found some 50 conference and meeting rooms — none of which was in use — or showed signs of ever being used.

More than a half dozen were assigned to the Department of General Services.

“Oh my Lord – another Department of General Services meeting room,” he added. “How many Department of General Services meetings rooms are there? We can be sure of one thing – too many.”

Several state departments moved into Piatt Place after Piatt and its partners bought the old state office building for $4.6 million.

Now, the state is paying more in one year of leases than it received in that sale.

In addition to Piatt Place which it is leasing for $3.2 million a year, the state is spending another $1.2 million to lease space at 11 Stanwix Street and another $900,000 to lease part of the Chamber of Commerce building on Seventh Avenue.

The total cost of all those leases comes to $5.2 million – about $600,000 more than the state got in the sale.

Today, Kevin Harley, the governor’s spokesman, called it a travesty.

“This was a terrible deal that made no economic sense for the state of Pennsylvania,” he said.

Harley said the state will immediately review all the leases to try to save taxpayer money, but he said the leases are long-term and very tough to break.

“At this point we appear to be stuck with them,” he said.

  • LikeThatWouldHappen

    Sublease them at a discount to a few small businesses.

  • Jess Sayen

    Does anyone know if they wern’t just using the space yesterday? Could be it was cleaning day and KDKA knew the rooms would be empty..

    • Shockly

      Are you as stupid as that comment or did you just move here from the moon. Fast Eddie’s administration was/is the most corrupt in modern times. Him and all his cronies,political hacks should be held accountable for the thievery and raping of this great State.

      • sam

        as nothing but the names changed in Harrisburg.
        Another case of grand standing to gain public support for savings/ to shame the owners into submission
        Because The building owners have enough political clout to fight
        For those of us without political ties,the corrupt officials simply tear up our agreements,and refuse to grant due process in any (unbiased) court .
        He only fights crime for the spotlight.

  • E.G.Robinson

    I feel the rooms are for comparison to match the emptiness like in the brains of the last administration.

  • Shawn

    Tom Corbett is a republican you dummy. Even though he still sucks but this is a good idea something has to be done about the downtown area face it it sucks pgh!

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