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PITTSBURGH-HJ Heinz Co. has agreed to sign a long-term lease for approximately 85,000 sf in One PPG Place. It will relocate its world headquarters from about 80,000 sf in the 64-story US Steel Tower, the tallest in the central business district, beginning in early 2008.

The lease is not yet signed, a Heinz spokesman tells GlobeSt.com, “But we will probably occupy four to five floors. We looked at a number of other locations. This had the appropriate available space on contiguous floors, access to restaurants, shops and transportation and available parking.”

Bradley Totten, SVP in the local office of Grubb & Ellis, is representing Heinz in the negotiations and the Grubb office also manages One PPG Place for Market Associates, an affiliate of the Hillman Co. According to published reports, Hillman acquired the asset in 1999 for $185.6 million.

It was designed by John Burgee Architects and Phillip Johnson as headquarters for then Pittsburgh Plate Glass, and PPG remains as an anchor tenant. Five satellite buildings surround the central 40-story tower. One is 14 stories, and four are six stories each, all glass-sheathed. The complex includes the Wintergarden and the Rink, and, in all, it occupies a six-block area in the Golden Triangle. It was completed in 1983.

Terms of the lease were undisclosed. According to the Grubb website, the asking rent rate for space on floors 30 and above is $30 per sf. A call to Totten was not returned by deadline.

Noting that Heinz has been headquartered in Pittsburgh since its founding in 1869, William Johnson, president, chairman and CEO, says in a statement, “We are pleased to be able to call One PPG Place our new home.” He calls the complex “a striking architectural tour de force in one of the world’s most distinctive skylines.”

Approximately 200 employees, including the chairman, and offices for the HJ Heinz Co. Foundation, will move to the new world headquarters beginning in January, and be fully relocated by March 2008, according to the spokesman. The headquarters of Heinz’s US consumer products and foodservice business will continue to be based in the Heinz 57 Center at 357 Sixth Ave. The company also has a research and development center in Marshall Township and employs more than 1,200 people in Western Pennsylvania.

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