Dining, Hotels, Retail & Residency All On The Rise Downtown

May 14, 2015

Nearly 1,450 new residents moved Downtown since 2010, according to a report released through the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership on Thursday.

Based on 2010 census data, the 4th annual State of Downtown report shows more people are opting to live, work and play in and around the Golden Triangle. Residential and office occupancy rates are both up, with higher attendance to cultural events and more options for dining and retail.

The report found 12,604 residents lived in the area in 2014, up 261 since the year prior.

Jeremy Waldrup, PDP president and CEO, said the report is a resource used in talking to residential-office developers and businesses contemplating a move Downtown.

One of those developers, Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, used the research in developing their latest marketing plan. As an outsider, Waldrup said the report helped the company identify where the need was.

“It allows them to come in and talk to us more specifically about questions they may have," he said. "It helps them understand opportunities that might exist in the market whether they’re thinking through the restaurant they’re opening on the ground floor or the beer garden that they’re opening this weekend.

"What’s working well in Pittsburgh, what’s not and what opportunities exist for us to kind of come into the marketplace and thrive."  

Waldrup said the report helps determine any areas that could use improvement. The PDP works with hand-in-hand developers to make those changes happen.

“We’ve had over $5 billion invested in Downtown Pittsburgh over the last decade," he said. "You can really see that when you’re walking through the streets, whether it’s new residents or units coming online, new towers like the Tower PNC being built or small restaurants or retailers that are popping up in unexpected places.”

The report notes seven key findings, including the demand for residential living in the Greater Downtown area. In 2014, 76 condos were sold at an average price of more than $330,000.

“One of the things we’ve finally seen come through in Downtown is increased sales in the condo market from a residential perspective," Waldrup said. "We’ve had such little growth in that market, since really the downturn in the economy almost six years ago. And it’s nice to see that coming back. We had condo sales increase 17 percent.”

The report notes the economic benefit of the cultural and entertainment institutions. Waldrup said in producing the report, the number of theaters, people they employ and ticket prices were only part of the $252 million impact on the economy.

“There are multipliers there," he said. "These people are coming down, they are visiting our restaurants and they’re staying in our hotels."