After hoping to make a decision at the end of 2012, Oxford Development Co. is taking more time to determine whether to build a $238 million, 33-story skyscraper on Smithfield Street, Downtown, or renovate an existing building it owns at the site.
Shawn Fox, director of business development for Oxford, said the company now expects to make a decision by the end of the first quarter.
Oxford, he said, is still having conversations with potential tenants on both options. He described those talks as "positive."
In August, Mr. Fox said Oxford had approached four to five companies about anchoring the proposed high-rise. Steve Guy, Oxford president and CEO, said in announcing the project in May that the firm was talking to both local and national companies, including energy-related businesses, about becoming the anchor.
One company that may be out of the running is U.S. Steel, which is considering a move out of U.S. Steel Tower on Grant Street when its lease expires in 2017. U.S. Steel is said to be considering sites in the Strip District and Findlay Township for a new headquarters. It also hasn't ruled out remaining at its current location Downtown.
If Oxford can't build the high-rise, it plans a $40 million renovation of 441 Smithfield that would include 180,000 square feet of class A office space and 20,000 square feet of retail space. It has given the current office and retail tenants notice that they must be out of the building by May 31.
Mark Belko: email@example.com or 412-263-1262.