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PITTSBURGH-The Elmhurst Group, a locally based commercial real estate developer, has landed an anchor tenant for its planned 110,000-sf office building here at Fifth Avenue and Craig Street, in the midst of the city’s health care, education and research communities.

The Rand Corp., a well-known nonprofit research organization that currently occupies 30,000 sf here at 201 N. Craig St., has signed on for 59,000 sf of the planned six-story building, which is slated to break ground in February and be shell complete by July 2005. Rand plans to occupy the space in January 2006. It will allow the 86-person organization to more than double in size before it again needs to secure a larger space.

The estimated $20-million building will have state-of-the-art amenities–including energy efficient tenant-independent climate-control systems, fiber-optic cabling with access to high-speed data connections, and dedicated on-site security protection.

“This is the first full-service class A office building to be developed in Oakland in several years, and the interest it’s generating among potential tenants is strong,” says Elmhurst president Bill Hunt. “The response has exceeded our expectations.”

Indeed, Gildersleeve says nearly 60% of the building has been pre-leased. In addition to Rand, leases have been signed with the University of Pittsburgh, a Citizens Bank retail branch and a Mellon Bank financial services office.

Elmhurst’s director of development Andy Gildersleeve tells GlobeSt.com that Rand will occupy the top three floors of the building. Rand’s negotiated lease rate is not being released by the parties involved. The annualized full-service asking lease rate for space in the building is in the mid $20s.

Rand was represented in its lease negotiations by Studley executive managing director David Lipson and Tim Goetz, a partner at Pittsburgh-based Grant Street Associates. Elmhurst was represented by Ron Tarquinio of TarquinCore LLC.

Elmhurst’s holdings exceed 1.5 million sf of office, distribution, retail and flex space, including the Ramada Plaza Suites Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh. All of its holdings are within a 40-mile radius of Downtown, says Gildersleeve.

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