Business news briefs: Local real estate market shows healthy growth
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The Pittsburgh-area commercial real estate market is growing at a healthy pace, according to RealSTATs, a South Side real estate information service. Overall sales activity climbed 28.3 percent from January through October this year to $1.1 billion from $855.4 million in the same period last year. Westmoreland County logged the greatest dollar gain, with sales rising to $191.4 million from $81.9 million in 2011. Allegheny County commercial real estate sales increased to $615.8 million from $557.5 million. Washington County jumped to $154 million from $106 million, and Butler County sales rose to $105 million from $65 million. However, Beaver County commercial sales fell to $30 million from $45 million in 2011.
Sewickley-based Esmark said it has reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract with the United Steelworkers union at its Ohio Cold Rolling plant in Yorkville, Ohio. The contract includes unspecified wage increases, health insurance benefits and pension fund support. Esmark purchased the plant this year during a bankruptcy court auction of the assets of RG Steel.
Akron, Ohio-based LRC Realty Inc. has purchased The Shoppes at Northway in Ross from Jefferson-Pilot Investors, which had acquired the shopping center through a sheriff's sale earlier this year. LRC plans to redevelop the 385,000-square-foot center, which hosts tenants such as Dick's Sporting Goods, Marshall's and Aldi. LRC has also acquired other properties along McKnight Road in Ross.
A strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach entered its fourth day Friday despite efforts to end the walkout that has idled most of the nation's busiest cargo complex. Seven of eight terminals in Los Angeles and three of six in Long Beach were closed to cargo container traffic as dockworkers refused to cross picket lines set up by union clerical workers who claim shippers are outsourcing their jobs. Combined, Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40 percent of the nation's import trade.
Siemens AG announced plans to eliminate an additional 4,700 jobs at its Osram lighting unit after it injected 699 million euros ($908 million) in capital at the subsidiary it is preparing to spin off next year. The job cuts, primarily outside Germany, come on top of 1,900 positions that Osram already reduced in fiscal 2012. Siemens said this week it would spin off Osram next year and retain about a fifth of the company, after realizing that investments to keep pace in the lighting market would be too great. Siemens trails Royal Philips Electronics NV in the market for lighting, which is tilting toward LED technology based on semiconductors.
German lawmakers are sending legislation on possible copyright restrictions on Internet search engines, commonly called the "Google Tax," to an expert committee for further review. The levy, being pushed by publishers, would require search engines to pay each time they link to media content like newspaper articles or photographs.
First Published December 1, 2012 12:00 am