Hollywood producer buys Pittsburgh penthouse

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Thomas Tull owns a piece of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the jersey and bat used by Bill Mazeroski in the seventh game of the 1960 World Series and now one very expensive Downtown condominium.

Mr. Tull, the chairman, founder and CEO of Legendary Pictures, a film production company, last month paid $5.2 million for a 5,350-square-foot penthouse on the top floor of Three PNC Plaza.

It marks his second acquisition in the 23-story building, which also houses the Fairmont Hotel and the Reed Smith law firm. Last December, he bought one entire floor and part of another for $2.7 million with the intent of combining them into one unit of nearly 8,000 square feet.

Dan Murrer, vice president of RealStats, a South Side-based real estate information service, said the latest purchase is without peer locally. "This is the highest priced condo sale in recorded history in Allegheny County," he said.

In fact, according to Mr. Murrer, only six houses have sold for more than $5 million in the last 26 years in the metropolitan Pittsburgh area, which includes Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The actual purchase was made by a trust, not Mr. Tull himself. However, Mr. Tull is believed to be the buyer behind the transaction. The seller was Judith M. Berger.

A spokesperson for Mr. Tull could not be reached for comment.

The purchase is the latest evidence of Mr. Tull's growing love affair with the city.

Last year, after he bought his first condo at Three PNC Plaza, a source close to the CEO said, "He really loves the city. He considers it his adopted home and his second home to Los Angeles. He's super devoted to it and he wanted to put down some roots there."

Mr. Tull's first big investment in the city came in 2009 when he became part of the Steelers ownership group. He is a lifelong fan who flies in from Los Angeles for football games at Heinz Field.

Last month, the movie producer paid $632,500 for the baseball jersey Mr. Mazeroski wore during Game 7 of the 1960 World Series and $322,000 for the bat the second baseman used to hit the ninth-inning, walk-off homer that won the championship for the Pirates. He said at the time that he likely would make the items available for display in Pittsburgh at some point.

An avid collector, he also owns a 1912 Honus Wagner game-used jersey, a Wagner T206 baseball card, a jersey worn by Roberto Clemente in 1966 and a Willie Stargell rookie uniform.

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

The three-bedroom condo will afford him breathtaking panoramic views of much of the city, including the rivers, Heinz Field, PNC Park and Market Square, thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Custom designed throughout, the unit features a horizontal gas fireplace that runs the length of three interior walls, kitchen cabinetry that hides the refrigerator and other appliances, and an exercise room with a large tub that overlooks part of Downtown.

Mr. Tull isn't the only condo owner at Three PNC Plaza with a stake in the Steelers. Hedge-fund manager Robert Citrone and his wife, Cindy, own three units in the building, according to county real estate records. They bought a minority share in the Steelers last year.

In conjunction with Warner Bros., Mr. Tull's Legendary Pictures has produced dozens of movies, including the latest Batman trilogy and "42," which details Jackie Robinson's rise to the big leagues. It also produced the Superman movie, "Man of Steel."

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


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