The former Lord and Taylor building, a key historic structure in Downtown’s Fifth-Forbes corridor, will soon be active again as PNC Financial Services Group has reached a deal to purchase that landmark. The bank plans to relocate 800 employees there, returning the granite, Classical-styled building to its original use as a bank.
Fred Solomon, of PNC, says this building presented the best opportunity for consolidating the bank’s real estate portfolio in that neighborhood. Solomon adds that PNC employees enjoy working downtown, citing restaurant and shopping options, and access to public transportation.
The building has been vacant since November 2004, when the department store closed its doors citing declining sales. Its most recent owners, J.J. Gumberg Co., had purchased the building in 2005 for $2.5 million.
Built in 1924, the six-story building served as a Mellon Bank branch for seven decades before its conversion to a retail use. Solomon says PNC believes it can easily convert the space to office uses, and will utilize the building’s new escalators and elevators.
Solomon says PNC plans to restore the building’s exterior, which was designated a city historic structure in 1999.
“We have no intention of changing anything on the building's exterior,” he says. “We plan to honor its heritage.”
PNC plans to close on the building by the end of this month. Remodeling will start soon after, with a completion date around the end of 2013.
Solomon says PNC has been a longtime supporter of Downtown, and cites its other developments in that area.
“The company's been on the same corner at fifth and Wood for approximately 160 years,” he says. “We expect to be at the same intersection for much longer with the construction of the Tower at PNC Plaza, which will be our new headquarters building in Pittsburgh.”
Writer: Andrew Moore
Source: Fred Solomon