Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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In 2007, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania determined it was no longer cost effective to own and maintain its 60-year-old Western Regional Headquarters located in the Central Business District of the City of Pittsburgh. As a result, the Commonwealth hired Randall G. McCombs, while he was working with another Pittsburgh-based real estate firm, to coordinate both the disposition of the HQ office building and the relocation of more than 20 state agencies and 800 employees into new offices.

APPROACH

  • The coordination of multiple disciplines was required in order to study, confirm and implement the disposition and relocation plan on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pa. Architects, appraisers, environmental consultants, economic impact consultants, MBB/WBB contractors, were utilized during various stages of the process
  • Worked with all levels of local, regional and state government during the project. Frequent meetings with the highest levels of the respective layers of government were common in this potentially sensitive project
  • Worked with numerous regional and national developers in both the disposition and relocation stages of the project
  • Coordinated the distribution of all public bid contracts for both the disposition and lease phases of the project
  • Conducted significant economic analysis of all phases of the project
  • Worked with legal counsel(s) for multiple prospective buyers and landlords in the disposition and relocation process
  • As the Commonwealth’s representative, took part in all project meetings for the design and fit out of the leased/relocation office space

RESULTS

  • In 2009, the Commonwealth of Pa. signed approximately 271,000 square feet of long-term leases valued at more than $100 million in the City of Pittsburgh. By leveraging the positive credit of the Commonwealth as a tenant, we were able to lock in lease rates significantly favorable to the market, thus achieving long-term savings for their agencies and ultimately the tax payers of Pa.
  • Approximately 800 jobs were retained in the Central Business District of the City of Pittsburgh – a strong desire by city government
  • 275,000 square feet of class B office space was absorbed at a time when the office market was sluggish
  • In 2010, we disposed, through a public bid format, of the 60-year-old “State Office Building” to a regionally-based developer. The property is now back on the real estate rolls generating badly needed revenue for the City, County and School District taxing bodies. The developer is creating more than 20 apartment units which will further add to the growing population in the CBD – Both the real estate tax impact and the downtown population growth were strong desires by the city government
  • Long-term maintenance and payroll costs were significantly reduced due to the sale of the 60-year-old building
  • Client: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Square Footage: 271,000 SF

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