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PHILADELPHIA-Pittsburgh-based Dick Corp. says it will not move to the three-story, 84,000-sf facility at The Waterfront in Homestead, PA, which it has been building as its headquarters. Dick will remain in its current corporate offices in nearby Large, PA andoffer the new property, which is more than 90% complete, for sale or lease.

According to published reports, construction cost to date is in excess of $10 million.

Projected sale or lease prices are unavailable, but, according to GlobeSt.com research, the office vacancy rate in the greater Pittsburgh market exceeds 16% and the average asking rental rates range between $18.50 per sf and $19.50 per sf.

“In an ongoing effort to improve efficiencies and better manage our costs, we have determined that moving into a new corporate headquarters is not in the best interest of our company,” says president and CEO Denny Watts in a statement. Calling it a “difficult decision,” Watts says it would provide additional resources “to funnel back into building our business.”

Dick was a 50% partner with Nepco, a unit of Houston-based Enron, in the construction of a $280-million power plant on 160 acres near Chicago for Minneapolis-based NRG Energy, a power company still floundering in the wake of Enron’s demise.

Although Dick’s total liability in the Enron venture is undisclosed, according to published reports, it is in excess of $50 million. This loss occurred on top of the nationwide economic downturn and was followed by the death of a Dick Corp. construction worker at a convention center project. The Allegheny County coroner criticized Dick’s safety procedures after the tragedy, and OSHA levied a $12,000 fine.

Watts, the company’s first non-family CEO, previously headed its Hawaii operations and was promoted to the top spot this summer. David and Douglas Dick, grandsons of the founder, became co-chairmen. At that time, Watts said the firm would refocus on government business and avoid “certain types of power work. We have paid the price,” he said.

According to Watts, Dick has contracts for $1.7 billion in upcoming projects. Pittsburgh International Airport and the Mellon Arena are among its previous hometown projects, and local projects account for just 20% of its overall construction work.

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