With its high concentration of financial services, management companies, and healthcare professionals, Downtown Pittsburgh is the second largest commercial hub in the entire state – second only to Center City in Philadelphia. 40% of all jobs in the city of Pittsburgh are based Downtown, and a significant portion of the area’s office space for rent.
Downtown is home to many of the regions premier businesses, with both regional branches and global headquarters. PNC Bank, U.S. Steel Industry, UPMC, H.J. Heinz Company, Allegheny Technologies, and PPG Industries are among the industry leaders with office space in Downtown Pittsburgh.
In addition to these industrial giants, there are also consumer technology companies, creative agencies, news agencies, law firms, and real estate developers in the Downtown district.
Flanked by the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers – where the two converge to become the Ohio River – and ranking sixth in the nation for job density per square mile, Downtown proper has earned its moniker of the Golden Triangle.
Downtown Pittsburgh Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
There is approximately 36 million square feet of inventory in Downtown Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, leasing at an average of around $26 per square foot (across all building classes). Class A office space for rent typically can be secured for around $31 per square foot, but this largely depends on the building, location, and lease commitment.
Recent notable transactions in Pittsburgh include the purchase of over 100,000 square feet at 564 Forbes Avenue by the Crescent Investment Group, and the City of Pittsburgh leasing 160,000 square feet in the newly renovated Class A building, 420 Boulevard of the Allies.
Downtown Pittsburgh has also seen a surge in interest from tech startups and coworking companies. Evoqua Water Technologies recently relocated into a 74,000 square foot office space in the K&L Gates Center on Sixth Avenue, one of the largest leases of 2017. Pineapple Payments recently moved its headquarters to an 11,000 square foot space at 11 Stanwix Street, formerly known as the Westinghouse Tower. On the coworking front, the 12,000 square foot Beauty Shoppe has plans to collaborate its programming with Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.
What Our Brokers Say About Downtown Pittsburgh Office Space for Lease
To call Downtown Pittsburgh well-connected would be an understatement. The neighborhood alone counts 10 of the city’s 446 bridges – including the famous identical trio of the Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson suspension bridges. These transport commuters over the Allegheny River to the city’s North Side, providing easy access to PNC Park.
Downtown is also the most walkable neighborhood in Pittsburgh, with a 95 Walk Score ranking (and designs for greater Downtown wayfinding currently in the works). Biking is on the rise in the Golden Triangle, with an average of nearly 600 rides per day (and 40 new bike share stations proposed for the Downtown area). The neighborhood also has a 97 Transit Score. The free-fare T zone includes First Avenue Station, Steel Plaza, Wood Street Station and Gateway, North Side Station, and Allegheny Station, all of which are here. The area is also served by an extensive bus network (whose routes provide access to more than 40% of Allegheny County’s population), and two inclines: The Duquesne and the Monongahela. Peak travel time on the bus from the newly-minted East Liberty transit center into the Golden Triangle is roughly 15 minutes; on a whole, commuters may find public transport to Downtown significantly faster and more reliable than driving. Those who do opt to drive will find parking relatively accessible, with a number of public and private lots.
The Amtrak Pittsburgh station is also downtown on Liberty Avenue. It is serviced by two routes: The Pennsylvanian (with daily connections to Philadelphia and New York City) and the Capitol Limited (which runs between Chicago and Washington, DC). Out-of-town clients have a growing number of hotels to choose from, including the EVEN Hotel at Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth Avenue, slated to open in late 2018.
The proximity to multiple universities is a definite perk for businesses who choose to lease space Downtown. Point Park University is on Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies, Duquesne University is right outside the parameters of Downtown, and University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon are both a short drive or bus ride away.
Downtown boasts claim of the city’s Cultural District, a 14-block stretch whose six theaters include Heinz Hall (where the Pittsburgh Orchestra performs), and Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. It is also home to the PPG Paints Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
For quick bites, our team recommends Smallman Galley or the newly-opened artisanal bakery La Gourmandine across from The Tower at PNC. For business lunches or dinners, there’s Butcher & The Rye, The Carlton Restaurant, and Sienna Mercato. And for drink happy hours, City Works, Olive or Twist, and Eleven are solid choices.
Get to Know Downtown Pittsburgh
Market Square, which dates back to the 18th century, today provides a social break for downtown workers. From May to October, it’s home to a weekly farmers’ market; summer sees free fitness classes hosted here, too. In the winter, there’s a German-style holiday market.
Just down Liberty Avenue, Point State Park – once a key strategic spot during the French and Indian War – offers boating, hiking, and biking around its scenic 36 acres.
Downtown has seen something of a residential renaissance in recent years, with young professionals, empty nesters, and some families moving in. Housing has never been a large component of Downtown, but the population has grown 3,000 since 2010 alone, bringing the total number of full-time residents to 15,000. The trend of renovating century-old buildings – typically converted into modern-style living spaces – reflects the wider-scale, billion-dollar investments that Downtown has seen in recent years.