PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Google Pittsburgh started 10 years ago with just two engineers working out of a downtown office.
In those10 years, moving from Carnegie Mellon University to Bakery Square, there’s been a transformation in the East End credited to Google.
Businesses, restaurants, the housing boom. It’s all visible to the naked eye in the city’s East End, and it’s also apparent that the boom is far from over.
“It’s like a freight train. It’s picked up momentum over the last eight, 10 years and Google… it rocketed,” said Lori Moran, of East Liberty Chamber of Commerce.
It was 2006 when Google came to Pittsburgh. In 10 years, they’ve moved locations three times – from downtown Pittsburgh, to CMU, and finally their current home in Bakery Square in 2010.
What happened next, says Moran was an explosion of new businesses.
“I think Google has brought to the table everything that was necessary for long-term stability,” she said.
Gregg Caliguiri, of Social at Bakery Square, says he witnessed the change in the East End, catapulted by Google. It’s something he says he never could have envisioned when he was growing up in the area.
“I went to Reizenstein Middle School in the ’80s and I don’t think I would have thought to put a restaurant here,” he said. “There’s no doubt that back then it was a little bit more prohibitive than it is now.”
Caliguiri opened up shop in 2013 knowing how stable the area had become and that his restaurant could thrive. He says it’s clear that others have realized the same thing.
“So many people are taking the lead from Google and actually doing exactly the same thing, coming to our city and realizing that we’re a treasure trove of great young minds,” Caliguiri said.
Todd Reidbord of Walnut Capital, who developed Bakery Square, says the transformation of the area cannot be contained. Walnut Capital is now looking to expand on the success deeper into Larimer.
“We see there are opportunities in the business corridor along Frankstown and Hamilton,” said Reidbord. “Kind of expand the energy of Bakery Square by crossing the railroad tracks and creating transit and other opportunities on the Larimer side that will complement things that are going on at Bakery Square.”
Walnut Capital is also behind Bakery Square 2.0, and Google is expanding into that development. Their office is set to open in the spring of this year.