Stadium Authority approves North Shore office-retail development

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The Pittsburgh Stadium Authority board cleared the way today for a new three-story office and retail development on the North Shore near Heinz Field.

Members approved the sale of 71,092 square feet of land across from Stage AE to North Shore Developers L.P. for the construction, which will feature 80,000 square of office space and 40,000 square feet of retail.

Barry Ford, president of development for Continental Real Estate Cos., which is partnering with the Steelers and Pirates on the project, said he hopes to close on the sale and start construction by the end of July. Continental hopes to have North Shore Place I and II, actually two buildings linked by a pedestrian bridge, completed by the summer or fall of 2014.

Continental already has signed Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill and North Park Lounge to anchor the retail side. It also is negotiating with Burgatory restaurant to take one of the three or four remaining retail spaces.

The development team has yet to secure an office tenant and is planning to build the structure on speculation. Mr. Ford said he is having conversations with a handful of possible tenants.

Also today, officials of Local 3 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees pressed the board for the opportunity to work at publicly subsidized Stage AE, saying the venue has been hiring out-of-town, non-union labor since opening several years ago.

They want to be considered for the next contract in 2015, particularly since the state provided a $2.5 million state grant to finance the construction.

City Councilman Corey O'Connor, a stadium authority board member, backed their fight.

"We should keep these jobs here," he said.

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Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-262-1262.


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