Washington Plaza Apts.

PITTSBURGH, PA-In a first move into the multifamily sector, Faros Properties has acquired majority interest in the Washington Plaza Apartments here, and will renovate and manage the residential tower. The sale price was not disclosed.

The 24-story, 350,000-square-foot apartment building will get extensive interior and exterior renovations to upgrade its appeal to high-end renters, according to the Faros, which has its headquarters in New York.

The Washington Plaza Apartments, at 1420 Centre Avenue, are currently 96% occupied, according to Faros. Apartments include 390 studio, one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 460-to-1180 square feet.

Apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering views of the city. The building has 24/7 concierge service, controlled access and valet parking in a covered garage. Four retail spaces on the ground floor are occupied by a bar & grill, massage spa, hair salon, and dentist.

The 4.5-acre landscaped property includes a heated swimming pool, tennis courts; volleyball courts, fitness center and sauna, a walking path and BBQ picnic areas. There is also a shuttle service to downtown businesses as well as Oakland hospitals.

The renovations are slated to begin late this year. Faros has retained Perkins Eastman, an international planning, design and consulting firm based in New York, to complete all improvements. Common areas to be renovated include the lobby, resident lounge, business center, corridors, courtyard, fitness center, pool and tennis courts. The units themselves will also be completely updated, including new kitchen and bathroom amenities.

“Perkins Eastman is among the top architecture and design firms in the world with extensive experience in luxury residential high rises,” said Elliot Gould, managing partner, Faros Properties. “Their innovative designs and sustainable approach align with our vision for the property.”

Washington Plaza Apartments is Faros Properties’ first residential project. Plans are underway to purchase additional residential buildings nationwide as part of the firm’s current investment strategy.

“We’re focused on multi-family assets in urban and in-fill locations in addition to commercial properties in cities that have high concentrations of intellectual capital, strong fundamentals, and strong growth prospects,” said Jeremy Leventhal, managing partner. The firm will seek direct and venture investment opportunities resulting from the economic downturn, he said.