Legendary film executive will set roots in Pittsburgh

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Thomas Tull, the Legendary Pictures chairman and CEO who was instrumental in bringing "The Dark Knight Rises" to Pittsburgh, has talked a lot about his love for the city. Now he's showing it in a sizeable way.

Mr. Tull, a partner in the Steelers ownership group, last week completed the purchase of a $2.7 million condominium at Downtown's Three PNC Plaza, home to the Fairmont Hotel and the Reed Smith law firm.

He bought one entire floor and part of another in the 23-story office, residential and hotel tower on Fifth Avenue with the intent of combining them into one unit of nearly 8,000 square feet.

The buyer is officially listed as Lafayette Trust in Allegheny County real estate records, but the Post-Gazette has learned that Mr. Tull is actually behind the purchase.

It marks his second big outlay in Pittsburgh. Three years ago, Mr. Tull, a Steelers fan since childhood, made an undisclosed investment in the team to become part of its ownership group.

He's such a passionate fan that he flies in from Los Angeles for Steelers home games, where he usually can be seen in a Jack Lambert jersey. He'll be able to walk to Heinz Field from his new digs Downtown.

Mr. Tull, 42, decided to buy a condo here because, "He really loves the city. He considers it his adopted home and his second home to Los Angeles," said a source close to the CEO. "He's super devoted to it and he wanted to put down some roots there."

By the time he's finished building out the two-story unfinished unit, he is expecting the value to be nearly double the purchase price, the source said. Mr. Tull chose Three PNC Plaza in part because of its central location.

As executive producer for "The Dark Knight Rises," Mr. Tull is credited with using his influence to encourage Warner Bros. to shoot a large part of the Batman movie here.

Legendary Pictures also was involved in "The Dark Knight" in 2008 and the earlier "Batman Begins."

Mr. Tull also is serving as executive producer for the new Superman flick, "Man of Steel," to hit theaters next summer. Other Legendary films scheduled for release next year include "42," a biopic on baseball player Jackie Robinson, and "The Hangover Part III."

Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said that Mr. Tull helped to "put Pittsburgh on the map" in bringing "The Dark Knight Rises" here. The executive producer having a home in town can only be good news for the city, she said.

"Hopefully, it results in even more of his work coming here," she said. "We welcome him with open arms."

In addition to being part of the Steelers ownership group, Mr. Tull is a member of the Carnegie Mellon University board of trustees.

He and his wife, Alba, have three children.

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Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262. First Published December 11, 2012 5:00 AM


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