Dollar Bank Inks Major Pittsburgh Lease

The regional lender will relocate its headquarters to a 76,000-square-foot space in a Class A office tower.
20 Stanwix. Image courtesy of M & J Wilkow

Dollar Bank has made a splash in downtown Pittsburgh’s pandemic-challenged office market by signing a 76,000-square-feet lease to relocate its headquarters to a 20-story, Class A tower. The new lease makes the regional bank the anchor tenant of 20 Stanwix, a recently renovated property owned by M & J Wilkow and DRA Advisors.

The bank plans to take occupancy of the space in the first quarter of 2021, moving into the top four stories of the tower along as well as a ground-floor reception suite adjoining the lobby. Dollar Bank will relocate from its longstanding address at the Gateway Center complex, where it is nearing the end of its lease. The move represents a slight downsizing of its headquarters footprint, which currently spans 100,000 square feet, according to an account in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

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Built in 1982, the Skidmore, Owings and Merrill-designed 20 Stanwix offers 337,832 square feet overlooking the Monongahela River. Chicago-based M & J Wilkow purchased the asset from David Stern Management in 2015 and completed a redevelopment and repositioning effort over the last two years. The building now features a full-service fitness center, a modernized conference facility and indoor and outdoor tenant lounges, among other improvements. The property also has 150 parking spaces in an integral garage.

Dollar Bank is partnering with Strada Architects to design a flexible office environment that will include a variety of meeting spaces, lounge areas and private huddle rooms. The office will also feature private access to indoor and outdoor rooftop areas with views of the city. In addition to the headquarters move, Dollar Bank will modernize and expand its operations center at 2700 Liberty Commons in the city’s Strip District, adding 35,000 square feet of office space.

Tentative comeback

Future Dollar Bank space in 20 Stanwix. Rendering courtesy of M & J Wilkow

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic and Pennsylvania’s ensuing statewide shutdown prompted many companies to shift their employees to remote work, emptying out much of downtown Pittsburgh’s office space. The state’s current guidelines call for telework to continue where feasible, and Google and Uber, which have hundreds of employees in Pittsburgh, are allowing workers to stay home through the summer of next year.

A July market report by JLL found that office leasing slowed in the first two months of the second quarter but began to recover in June, with renewals seeing a noticeable increase. Absorption during the quarter was negative by more than 500,000 square feet as several large blocks of sublease space became available.

The brokerage expects that re-entry strategies will be rolled out as the summer continues, with tenants demanding higher levels of COVID-19 safety via touchless technology and upgraded mechanical systems. In what appears to be a nod to prevailing public health concerns, Dollar Bank’s announcement emphasizes that its new office locations will be “safe.”