Developer Faros plans collaborative workspace for former Allegheny Center Mall
September 9, 2015 11:36 PM
The Faros Properties vision for a technology hub and campus at the former Allegheny Center on the North Side.
By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A New York developer is planning the region’s largest collaborative workspace at the former Allegheny Center Mall on the North Side.
The 50,000-square-foot workplace, dubbed Alloy 26, is the latest element of a plan advanced by Faros Properties to transform the mall into a hub for technology and innovation called Nova Place.
Alloy 26 will feature flexible office space and other amenities designed to accommodate more than 300 people, with the goal of helping companies build and develop “the next wave of industry leading products,” according to Faros.
“As Pittsburgh has continued to grow and thrive as an entrepreneurial center, our thought is that this is the next logical step, to create a large workspace for them to work on their products or their startups,” said Mike Woycheck, a former Google manager who will serve as the initiative’s operations director.
At Alloy 26, firms will have the ability to rent desks or offices for work. Faros also is planning a fellowship program that will provide startup companies with free space. It is expecting 12 to 14 firms to participate in that endeavor.
“The dense concentration of technical, creative and entrepreneurial skills will create a vibrant community of innovative professionals within a great work environment,” Mr. Woycheck said.
He added the hope is that the “entire campus will become an innovation and technology hub” and that companies can continue to grow within it and become part of the larger North Side community.
Alloy 26 is scheduled to start in early 2016 with hopes of attracting both national and local companies. Faros is calling the initiative the largest collaborative workspace in Western Pennsylvania.
It is part of a makeover totaling more than $200 million aimed at transforming the 1.2-million-square-foot former mall, now used mostly for office space, into a hub for technology and innovation.
As part of its plans, the developer intends to establish a technology incubator designed to advance and promote the entrepreneurial community in Pittsburgh.
It already has recruited Innovation Works, a nonprofit investor in Pittsburgh startup technology companies, to take 12,000 square feet in the complex. Matrix Solutions also has signed a lease to occupy about 8,000 square feet.
Audrey Russo, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, said she is excited about the work taking place at the former mall.
“I think the vision Faros has for the entire property is very big and bold,” she said.
Collaborative space, she added, is “always great. It’s the new economy. It is the new way people are thinking about working.”
Mark Belko: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1262.
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