Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership releases 2018 'State of Downtown' report | Blogh
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership releases 2018 'State of Downtown' report

Study shows $8.5 billion invested in Downtown in past decade

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 3:59 PM

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According to a new a report from the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, development projects around the Golden Triangle are growing at a "quick pace."

The full release can be found after the jump and the full report can be read here.

On May 1, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership released the 2018 State of Downtown Pittsburgh report. The seventh annual publication provides a comprehensive look at economic development indicators in Downtown Pittsburgh, as well as dataset comparisons to peer central business districts.

Development projects in Greater Downtown grew at a quick pace, with the number of building permits issued in the neighborhood increasing by 91 percent while the value of combined projects increased 72 percent to $374 million. This growth was seen in every area of Greater Downtown from the expansion of the Carnegie Science Center in the North Shore, Riverfront West at 3 Crossings and the Edge1909 at Riverfront Landing in the Strip District, to Eighth and Penn in the Cultural District.

As of today, 28 projects are under construction representing 400 additional hotel rooms, 1,467 residential units and a combined project value of $1 billion. There is currently $3.9 billion in total active and announced investment activity, supplementing $4.6 billion in total investments completed in the last 10 years. These numbers indicate a strong market attractive to both developers and investors.

The 2018 State of Downtown Pittsburgh report tracks key economic development indicators across six sectors, providing a high-level overview of what is happening in Greater Downtown.

“While Downtown is continuing to thrive, the report offers us a unique look at opportunities that can be seized upon,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “In examining the overall office market, we look forward to engaging with more tech, creative and start-up companies to determine how Downtown can best fit their needs. We believe when looking at all six sectors, Downtown is hands-down the most attractive neighborhood for not only a company but also potential residents to consider calling home.”

Additional key findings of the report:
  • New office trends include the continued rise of coworking spaces, Downtown as a hub for creative industries, and the Innovation Zone proves to be successful in supporting startup businesses.
  • 40 percent of all jobs in the City of Pittsburgh are based in Downtown, including 45 percent of the City’s creative jobs.
  • Over 110,000 square feet of coworking space has opened in last three years.
  • Institutional investors from outside of the market continue to be attracted to both value-add and trophy properties evidenced by the recent transaction of 11 Stanwix Street by M&J Wilkow and 449 Smithfield Street by Stark Enterprises, and 525 William Penn Place by Pearson Partners.
  • Seventy companies in targeted sectors are utilizing tax credits available through the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone which includes a large part of Greater Downtown Pittsburgh.
  • Residential growth remains strong, finally including a healthy condo pipeline.
  • Greater Downtown’s population has grown by 3,000 residents (25 percent) since 2010 with more than 15,000 residents today while the regional population remained relatively flat.
  • Two thousand new units have been delivered to the marketplace since 2010 with an increasing occupancy of 94% as of the first quarter of 2018 compared to 89% one year prior.
  • 3,928 pipeline units including apartments at Station Square East and Eighth and Penn, and condominium units at Lumiere and Waterfront Place townhomes.
  • Nearly 400 for-sale units in pipeline is the most at any time in recent history.
  • New restaurants continue to bolster the retail environment in Downtown, but local maker-focused businesses are seeing success and making an impact.
  • Twenty-four new food and beverage establishments opened in 2017 with eight more opened in the first four months of 2018. Unique openings include Wigle’s Bottle Shop and Tasting Room and La Gourmandine. The restaurant pipeline includes Ben Roethlisberger’s King Street Grille in the SAP center on the North Shore, Bourbon and Bridges in the 900 block of Penn Avenue, and Waffles, INCaffeinated in the Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth. Pittsburgh is on par with national food hall trends with the recent openings of Federal Galley and Oxford Market.
  • Steel City and Moop both recently celebrated one year in Downtown; love, Pittsburgh opened a second location at 805 Liberty Ave., featuring Pittsburgh produced goods in a locally women-owned gift shop.
  • Opportunities remain for retail around Golden Triangle within active projects like Kaufmann’s Grand on Fifth, Eighth & Penn as well as pocket spaces throughout Downtown. Even with the increase in the number of hotel rooms, the hotel market remains steady.
  • The total number of hotel rooms has grown 26 percent since the beginning of 2015 with nearly 6,000 rooms in Greater Downtown. Greater Downtown’s annualized hotel occupancy is flat at 67 percent, but Downtown still remains the strongest submarket in the region with more than 1.4 million occupied room nights in 2017.
  • There were 13.3 million visitors to entertainment venues in Greater Downtown make Downtown a regional destination.
  • The Allegheny Regional Asset District is a major driver of arts and entertainment in Greater Downtown with 74 percent of RAD’s annual grants for operations and capital directed to assets in Greater Downtown.
  • Safety is important in creating great places and there was a 3 percent decrease in total crime occurrences in the Golden Triangle in 2017 compared to 2016. Violent and property crimes (Part 1 Crimes) decreased by 17 percent in same time period.
  • Downtown makes up 66 percent of all LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Energy Star-certified space in Allegheny County.
  • Healthy Ride users took 71,000 bike trips city-wide in 2017, nearly half of which were rented from bike stations in Greater Downtown.
  • Also on the way to downtown is the first Golden Triangle location of Beauty Shoppe, a 24/7 network of neighborhood co-working and office spaces, designed for individuals, small businesses, and enterprise-level corporations. Beauty Shoppe announced that in summer 2018, they will be opening a new space in the Ft. Pitt Building in Downtown Pittsburgh. This historic building is located on Smithfield Street at the Boulevard of the Allies. Beauty Shoppe’s arrival in Downtown provides another connection for Pittsburgh’s creative and technology communities to take advantage of the unmatched amenities available in the Golden Triangle.
  • In addition to this announcement, Beauty Shoppe CEO Matthew Ciccone shared that an adjacent warehouse will become Beauty Shoppe’s programmatic space that will offer inclusive business events and classes. The calendar of event will be anchored by Beauty Shoppe’s collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.

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