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Alco Parking chief lays out vision for pair of North Shore Pittsburgh towers | TribLIVE.com
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Alco Parking chief lays out vision for pair of North Shore Pittsburgh towers

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An artist’s rendering shows the two proposed office buildings and parking facility on General Robinson Street on the North Shore.
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An artist’s rendering shows the two proposed office buildings and parking facility on General Robinson Street on the North Shore.

Two office towers proposed for a North Shore parking lot would give tenants a view of the Golden Triangle’s skyline and a chance to peer into PNC Park.

Merrill Stabile, president of Alco Parking Corp., said Wednesday he is counting on those views and other features to entice a top-tier national or international corporation to relocate to Pittsburgh’s North Shore where he wants to build two 11-story office buildings atop a five-story parking garage between two hotels and behind the home of the Pirates.

“I don’t think they would be able to see home plate,” Stabile said. “But it’s another reason why it makes this site extremely unique and an eye catcher.”

Stabile and CB Richard Ellis, the Downtown real estate firm marketing the project, announced the proposed development on Wednesday. The project could change depending on the tenant, Stabile said. He said it was too soon to estimate the project’s cost.

“We’re going to find somebody who wants to make a significant statement,” Stabile said.

Dan Adamski, managing director of commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle in Pittsburgh, said the city trails only Manhattan in New York City and San Francisco in demand for office space.

“I believe the development will be well received by the market as there is more demand for office space on the North Shore than what’s available. The North Shore is becoming a destination place,” Adamski said.

Jeff Burd, president and owner of commercial and residential construction consultant Tall Timber Group in Ross, said Stabile’s vision sounds feasible. Pittsburgh’s low cost of real estate and stream of talent from universities make it attractive to large companies. The question is, Burd said, whether there is a top company out there, perhaps in technology or energy, with a business interest in Pittsburgh.

“I know we’re on a lot of people’s radars now,” Burd said. “The issue with something like this is the same others are facing, you got to have a tenant. You got to have an anchor.”

Stabile hopes to begin development in two or three years. He won’t build until a tenant signs on to the project.

Kim Clackson, a senior vice president at CBRE, said proximity to hotels — between Marriott’s Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites on West General Robinson Street — freeways and public transit and dining options on the North Shore make the potential development attractive.

Stabile’s lot is not part of the Pittsburgh Stadium Authority’s agreement controlling development of properties between Heinz Field and PNC Park. Stabile will not seek public subsidies, he said.

“In this particular part of the North Shore, around the stadiums, that kind of help is not needed,” Stabile said. “The time is right, and I think the market is strong enough.”

Stabile offered to pay $10 million for a lot between PNC Park and Heinz Field in 2011 to build a 10-story office building. The Stadium Authority sold the land for $1.1 million to North Shore Developers 2013 LP, a partnership of Columbus-based Continental Real Estate Cos., the Steelers and the Pirates as part of the authority’s development agreement.

Staff writer Sam Spatter contributed to this report. Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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