PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The block between Fifth and Forbes along Wood Street is a combination of blight and boarded-up empty buildings with only a few stores left, but all that is about to change.

PNC is building a new 40-story headquarters building called the Tower at PNC Plaza.

The announcement was a Hollywood-like production, but beyond the glitz, the real news was obvious. The Tower will be Pittsburgh’s newest skyscraper tied with One PPG as the third tallest building in the city, behind U.S. Steel Tower and BNY-Mellon One.

“It will cost about $400 million. It will have around 800,000 square feet and it will be 100 percent occupied by PNC,” says PNC CEO Jim Rohr.

“We’ve got over 8,000 employees here, and so we really found we really needed to put together consolidated space that would be more functional for our employees to get the job done.”

Rohr says the Tower will also be one of the greenest most environmentally sound buildings in America.

“We’re going to adopt each one of the best practices and build it into our building along with some new ideas. So it’s an evolution of platinum green, but I think it will be great.”

The project will be entirely self-financed by PNC — no tax dollars — and employ 2,500 construction workers to build.

What officials hope is that the construction of the Tower at PNC Plaza will continue the revitalization of this part of Downtown Pittsburgh, so much so that people will really believe the city’s in Renaissance III.

“This is probably one of the most significant announcements that this community has seen in a long time,” says Mayor Luke Ravenstahl who pledged a third renaissance when he ran for re-election.

Eight years ago, a similar announcement yielded Three PNC and the revitalization of the adjacent area. Back then, Mayor-elect Bob O’Connor hailed the condominiums in Three PNC.

“Everyone talks about downtown,” said O’Connor, “and we’ve tried a lot of things, but I believe everyone knows if it’s going to happen, we need residential living downtown.”

While there will be no residential living in the Tower at PNC Plaza, officials hope that this building will spur more residential living in the downtown area.

“To have a corporate headquarters like this put its stake in the ground, to say we’re going to be here, we’re going to invest $400 million, that only helps the residential market down the road, that only helps people who are looking to develop in the community,” notes Ravenstahl today.

Ground-breaking on the Tower will begin in late 2011 or early 2012 and is expected to be completed in late 2015.


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