20 Stanwix to Renovate

By Tim Schooley, Pittsburgh Business Times 

February 15, 2018  

Chicago-based M & J Wilkow and its financial partner DRA Advisors are bringing a hotelier's approach to amenities to 20 Stanwix, while ramping up leasing efforts to replace the building's long-time anchor tenant, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. 

Marty Sweeney, a senior vice president of asset management for M & J Wilkow, said the joint venture negotiated with PNC for the bank to give back its first floor space, including a branch office, last summer before the lease expired at the end of 2017. That allowed the company to get an earlier start on a renovation to the building that's added a host of amenities, including a new tenant lounge, a fitness center and a conference room. 

Sweeney said the approach to the renovation was influenced by the world of hospitality and residential development, including two new SUVs for the building to be made available for use by its tenants. 

"This is all about providing as many amenities to the tenants as possible," said Sweeney. 

Working from designs by Strada Architecture LLC, the ownership debuted the new amenities to a brokers reception on Wednesday. JLL, lead by Jason Stewart, is ramping up the leasing efforts for the 100,000-square-foot block of space now available on the building's upper floors that PNC vacated at the end of last year.  

It's space with sweeping views of the rivers as well as downtown that hasn't been available to lease perhaps ever, believed Sweeney, noting the long-time lease by PNC and its predecessor, National City Bank in a property originally built as the headquarters of National Steel Corporation. 

There are still proposed plans to build out a rooftop deck on the building, based in large part on the interest of a top floor tenant. Naming rights to the building are also available, added Sweeney. 

After clearing out all the bank branch space, the first floor includes a cozy fireplace, WiFi, a conference room that can seat nearly 50, a full fitness center and yoga room as well as a redesigned exterior patio. 

It's all part of an approach to help employees feel more comfortable and able to spread out in the building. 

"You can come down, get out of your office and still work," said Sweeney.