Although it took four long years to come together, property investor Mark Karasick finally got what he wanted when his New York investment group acquired Pittsburgh's tallest skyscraper for $250 million last Friday.
“The space is amazing, and the view is really gorgeous,” said Karasick, on the phone from Israel yesterday.
Karasick and his partners finally landed the U.S. Steel Tower after buying out the 600 Grant Street Associates LP Group, which owns the building, from the Area Property Partners organization.
“The thing that most attracted us to the U.S. Steel Tower is the fact it has three large, long-term tenants already in place,” explained Karasick.
Currently, the 64-floor building on the city’s Grant Street is 92% occupied, with the UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) leasing 13 floors alone. UPMC occupies almost 513,000 of the buildings’ 2.3 million available square feet, and has just signed a long-term lease for 270,000 square feet.
The U.S. Steel Corp. also houses its headquarters in the building, renting out 450,000 square feet of office space, while the PNC Bank is currently leasing 430,000 square feet.
“Hopefully we can get to 100% occupancy soon, with UPMC looking to expand in the future,” said Karasick.
Karasick’s group, which also owns notable buildings such as 311 South Wacker in Chicago and Louisville’s Aegon Center, were financed to the tune of $220 million for this current purchase by the Swiss bank UBS.
However, no changes are in store for Pittsburgh’s signature skyscraper, according to the current managers of the Steel Tower. Peter Braverman, a shareholder in the buildings’ managers Winthrop Management, said that they will continue this role indefinitely.
“While new owners always try to provide new services and improve a building, there are no dramatic plans at the moment,” Braverman said.
Note: The image at top was originally incorrect, one of our fine readers brought it to our attention, and we changed it.