Walnut Capital fills 1 Bakery Square building, makes plans for 2nd |

Walnut Capital fills 1 Bakery Square building, makes plans for 2nd

Tom Fontaine
Guy Wathen | Trib Total Media
Construction continues on a new apartment building, foreground, at the Bakery Square 2.0 complex in East Liberty on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015.

Office space being built in the Bakery Square 2.0 complex in the East End’s booming Penn Avenue corridor is almost fully leased, and developers are setting their sights on tenants for a second office building.

“Because we’re so close to Carnegie Mellon, Pitt and other local universities, we feel there is a lot of pent-up demand for companies who want to come to Pittsburgh to locate here,” said Gregg Perelman, managing partner of Shadyside’s Walnut Capital Partners.

O’Hara-based software maker Autodesk Inc. plans to lease about 15,000 square feet and employ 65 people in the six-story office building, scheduled to open this fall in Bakery Square 2.0. Internet search giant Google Inc. will anchor that building, leasing about one-third of the space.

“By moving to Bakery Square, we will be in closer proximity to both established and startup companies in this area,” Autodesk spokesman Noah Cole said.

Cole said the location will enable Autodesk to work more easily with CMU and Pitt researchers and tech developers, along with potential interns from the universities.

The brisk pace of securing tenants for the first building prompted Walnut Capital to start seeking tenants for the second one earlier than anticipated, Perelman said. The second building would be about the same size as the first, Perelman said.

“I suspect we will be breaking ground on another office building ahead of schedule to keep up with this unbelievable demand,” Perelman said.

Kevin Acklin, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff and chief development officer, said he isn’t surprised.

“Walnut is doing so well because the site is so close to the talent base that Google, Autodesk and others are looking for,” Acklin said.

Acklin pointed to transportation improvements in the area, including development of the East Liberty Transit Center near Penn Avenue with improved platforms and accessibility for transit riders using the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway.

Perelman didn’t offer a timetable for construction to begin on the second building. He said the project would proceed once Walnut Capital secures some “firm commitments” from would-be tenants.

“We are ready to go from a construction standpoint,” Perelman said.

The office buildings will be adjacent to high-end Walnut Capital apartments. The firm opened a 175-unit building in June and began construction on a second, similarly sized building about two weeks ago, about a year sooner than originally planned. The second apartment building is scheduled to open in June 2016.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.