By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh officially has a new owner.

If you wondered why the color of the water at PPG Place’s fountain was a distinct blue, the answer is found in the color scheme favored by the new owners.

Highwoods Properties of Raleigh, N.C. announced that it was acquiring the PPG complex from an affiliate of the Hillman Company.

“Well this is a great iconic building as you all know better than we do. It is a wonderful entry into this market. We hope it is truly is a springboard for us to do more commerce here. It is the jewel of Pittsburgh’s skyline,” Highwoods Properties CEO Ed Fritsch said.

Fritsch said he broke the news to tenants at breakfast Monday morning.

“We served several thousand people pancakes and sausage and bacon this morning. There’s a sense of energy we hope to perpetuate and to bring a little bit more vibrancy into the building,” Fritsch said.

Highwoods said the total investment is $214 million, with $17 million for building improvements and another $8 million for committed future tenant improvements.

Fritsch said the Hillman ice skating rink will stay and gave some skates to be delivered to the Hillmans to prove it.

“They’re always welcome to come back to their ice skating rink,” Fritsch said.

PPG Place is currently at 81 percent occupancy. That means there’s plenty of office space available.

Highwoods is hoping that with their improvements, that occupancy rate will go up in the months and years ahead.


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