Shorenstein Sets Bar High for Downtown Pittsburgh

One Oxford Centre commands unprecedented office rent for the Golden Triangle.

PittsburghShorenstein Properties, the new owner of One Oxford Centre in Pittsburgh, is asking $34 per square foot for the building’s office space. This amount marks the highest asking rent price for the city’s downtown–colloquially referred to as the Golden Triangle–which might cause a ripple effect throughout the area, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

One Oxford Centre in Pittsburgh
One Oxford Centre in Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh average asking rates for Class A office space currently range from $27.70 to $29.17 per square foot. Even the office space in the newly opened Tower Two Sixty near Market Square, which goes from $30.50 to $32 per square foot, isn’t as expensive as the 45-story skyscraper at 301 Grant St.

The San Francisco-based company acquired One Oxford Centre in January, with plans to renovate the property. According to Jeremy Kronman, the CBRE executive vice president who is leasing space for Shorenstein at Oxford Centre, the asking rent is right on the money, given the level of investment the company intends to make.

“While it may be one of the most expensive in Pittsburgh, it will be one of the least expensive trophy renovated properties in the country,” Kronman told the newspaper.

One Oxford Centre, which ranks as the third tallest building in the Golden Triangle, was built in 1983. The 1.1 million-square-foot high-rise includes 879,000 square feet of Class A office space, 59,000 square feet of retail and a separate eight-story garage with 840 parking spaces.

Some observers of the market, however, remain skeptical about the possibility of a rent hike in the tight downtown office market, citing the fact that more space is opening up. Such is the case of U.S. Steel Tower or 525 William Penn Place, where BNY Mellon is vacating about 600,000 square feet. Meanwhile, the renovated Union Trust Building also has large portions of vacant space.

Shorenstein is currently in the process of selecting an architect for the One Oxford Centre renovation, which reportedly amounts to $50 million. The property is set to get the “absolute latest and greatest” in terms of improvements, Kronman said. “No other tower has undergone this level of renovation,” he added.

If the California firm is able to entice tenants to commit to the $34 per square foot asking price, rents in other Class A, and even B and C, properties could also go up in downtown Pittsburgh.

Image courtesy of Shorenstein Properties