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PITTSBURGH-PNC Financial Services has the final design for Three PNC Plaza promising “the nation’s largest mixed-use green building,” according to a statement, confirmed by Gary Saulson, PNC’s director of corporate real estate. The construction cost has risen by between $8 million and $9 million above the initial $170-million estimate, Saulson tells GlobeSt.com, “primarily to further upgrade the residential component and increase the number of hotel rooms from 158 to 185 rooms.”

The changes, he says, “are based on demand. It’s our intent for this to be the high-end property in this market.” He expects to announce a major hotel operator soon. The 23-story, 752,000-sf building includes approximately 320,000 sf of office space, a 10-story hotel, and 30 residential condos on the top 10 floors, along with an underground garage to accommodate 330 vehicles and ground-floor retail/restaurant space.

The locally based Reed Smith law firm has committed to 50% of the office space, and Saulson says PNC, which originally planned to take about 25% of the remaining office component, will now take more. “The office portion is essentially fully preleased,” he says.

Tenants in the 13 buildings on the PNC-owned land where the new structure will rise have been relocated, according to Saulson. “In August, deconstruction of those buildings will begin.” The “deconstruction,” versus demolition, is in keeping with PNC’s environmental goals. Locally based Construction Junction will take the buildings apart piece by piece, retaining any useful parts for either recycling or resale. Saulson says PNC has used the same company on previous projects, “where it has utilized or recycled up to 90% of a building’s materials.”

PNC will own the new building, which extends its existing campus on Fifth Avenue west to the end of Market Street. Locally based Oxford Development Co. is developing the structure on a fee basis. The designers are San Francisco-based Gensler architects and the locally based Astorino firm.

PNC obtained a $30-million incentive package from the state, and the city, school district and county are providing tax incentive financing, which the owner will repay using approximately 60% of the estimated $1.2 million in new annual property tax generated by the project. As the overall costs rose, “the government contribution did not increase at all,” Saulson says. The opening is scheduled for late 2008.

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