Raleigh, N.C.-based Highwoods Properties announced the purchase of PPG Place this morning from Market Associates LP, an affiliate of the Hillman Company. The acquisition is Highwoods' first venture into Pittsburgh and company CEO Ed Fritsch, said he is excited.
"This is a great iconic building as y'all know better than we do. It's a wonderful entrée into this market we hope it is truly a springboard for us to do more commerce here," Fritsch said. "It is the jewel of the Pittsburgh skyline and we're thrilled now to be the landlord of two Fortune 500 companies."
Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference for Community Development hopes the group continues to be active in the region.
"The bring experience, they bring capital, they bring enthusiasm, they're a world class real estate investment trust and their starting point we hope is this facility," Yablonsky said. "We hope it's not their ending point, we hope that this is just the beginning of a significant presence both in the central business district and in the suburbs."
Highwoods is paying about $180 million and plans to invest $17 million in near term improvements and $8 million in future upgrades for tenants. Currently, the building is 81.2 percent leased.
Fritsch spoke with a slow southern drawl of his attraction to the candid and honest speaking of the people in Pittsburgh, and joked that he would learn how to skate in time for the opening of the PPG ice rink on Nov. 18. He assured that even under new ownership, the people of Pittsburgh can expect the featured iconic fountain and ice rink to continue into the future.