City to review plans for 'distinctive' PNC tower

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The new $400 million skyscraper planned by PNC Financial Services Group will feature 33 floors of office and related space, the best of sustainable building techniques and a skyline presence that will be "distinctive but not dominating."

Based on documents filed with the city planning department, PNC hopes to start demolishing existing buildings along Wood Street and Forbes and Fifth avenues Downtown in March to make way for the office tower and expects to have the mostly glass skyscraper completed by June 1, 2015.

The city planning commission will begin its review of the Tower at PNC Plaza at its meeting Tuesday.

PNC originally planned as many as 40 stories for the tower, but it later refined that to 33, plus a 12,590-square-foot mechanical penthouse as well as green features at the very top to help ventilate the building. There also will be three floors of underground parking with 136 spaces, plus a dedicated and secure area to park as many as 195 bicycles.

Despite the changes, PNC's new headquarters still will total slightly more than 800,000 square feet of space -- 698,463 for offices and 107,310 for the garage.

The base of the building will contain two retail areas, one at the corner of Forbes and Wood and another on Fifth Avenue. The lobby will feature an auditorium and meeting space for employees.

In announcing the construction of the tower in May, PNC vowed to make it the world's greenest skyscraper. In documents filed with the city, the bank said it hopes to secure a platinum certification, the highest available, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. At the same time, many design elements "will push this building beyond the LEED platinum guidelines," it said.

Among the green elements will be a double-skin facade that will help to control the air temperature in the tower and reduce heating and cooling costs, natural ventilation and a roof garden. The building's orientation will not be square to the block but angled to help maximize the use of natural light and reduce glare.

Demolition and deconstruction costs are expected to total $1.93 million. Construction costs are estimated at $182.1 million. The $400 million total price tag includes the cost of interior furnishings.

The design already has been reviewed by the city's Contextual Design Advisory Panel, which had no major concerns, said zoning administrator Susan Tymoczko.


Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.


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