Photo courtesy of Faros Properties
An exterior rendering of the newly-minted Nova Place, which is the site of the former Allegheny Center Mall. The 1.2 million-square-foot office and parking complex will be transformed in to a tech-friendly campus.
By Justin Criado
Faros Properties announced its renovation and rebranding plans for the former Allegheny Center Mall Thursday, May 21 during a press conference inside the current office complex.
Renamed Nova Place, the building will be a campus of sorts for tech companies and other businesses, while offering various shops and restaurants.
“This facility will become the hub of technology and innovation,” Jeremy Leventhal, Faros managing partner, said. “We’re hoping that Nova Place becomes a beacon of innovation and a catalyst of entrepreneurship.
“This project is about building community.”
Faros bought the four apartment buildings that are now Parkview Apartments in Allegheny Center last year, and announced the purchase of the 1.2 million-square-foot office and parking complex in March.
“It’s not just an investment it’s a belief in where Pittsburgh is going,” Mayor Bill Peduto said. “This building is symbolic of that. For decades this building has stood as a wall; a wall between the central business district and the community that’s around it.
“Today we’re here with a new vision. It will be a partnership between this city, this county and corporate community to see that happen.”
The announcement also brought news that Innovation Works, a non-profit tech investment company, will move its headquarters to Nova Place after the renovation is complete within the next 12-24 months.
“The plans for our new home will offer us the opportunity to enhance our entrepreneurial programs with the ability to host educational and networking events, help reclaim the promise of this urban campus, and connect to a neighborhood of passionate innovators, who we hope will be enriched by the energy of our startups,” Rich Lunak, Innovation Works president & CEO, said.
Leventhal said that the renovation will cost in the millions, but the final number has yet to be determined.
The site was built as a mall in the 1960s, but became mainly office spaces when retail shops and food spots began to close in the mid-1990s and in to the 2000s.
Now the building is at about 50-percent occupancy, according to Leventhal, but with the city’s growing reputation as a national hot spot for technology the new campus-style site makes it more attractive than ever.
“Pittsburgh is the place everybody wants to be,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “…Keep Pittsburgh moving in the right direction.”
A timeline for construction was not immediately available, but Leventhal said “hammers will being swinging this summer.”
The project is one of the largest urban renewal developments in the country, according to Leventhal, and will feature one of the largest tech incubators in the region, set to open in the fall.
“Nova Place is sure to become the epicenter for all things innovative, further contributing to the region’s ongoing renaissance,” Leventhal said.
An aerial view of recently announced Nova Place, which will be complete with tech incubator, office spaces and retail locations.