Friday, August 2, 2013

Pittsburgh's Federal Reserve Bank Building

The Federal Reserve Bank closed their Pittsburgh offices of the Cleveland Branch. A new owner is about to close on this building, and there is already some speculation of how this building could be reused. Some speculate more office space, while others look towards the potential of another hotel in Downtown. Below is a street-view image courtesy of Google Earth. There is a news release regarding the new owner's ideas for this building at http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/the-next-move/2013/08/office-or-hotel.html?page=all

Given the orientation of this building, its height and architectural design, I think a hotel would be the best use for this building. One downside is the entire northeastern facade contains no windows, but I suppose that shouldn't be too much of an issue. This building will likely be renovated regardless. Other than that drawback, I could see this as a good possibility of a hotel. My reasons include:

  • Good "L-shape" layout
  • Parking lot could be replaced with underground garage with rear (William Penn Pl.) entrance and an expansion on top.
  • Existing high demand for hotels given the strength of the economy and the current occupancy rates overall for the Pittsburgh region
  • Close proximity to the Convention Center, several offices along Grant Street, Amtrak and Greyhound.
Office space could also be a good use, but I am unsure of what upgrades would be necessary for class A status. There are some companies still in search of class A office space downtown, and this building once renovated could satisfy some of those companies' requirements.