Inside HYATT house at SouthSide Works

Pittsburgh Business Times by Anya Litvak, Reporter

Date: Friday, November 9, 2012, 3:09pm EST – Last Modified: Monday, November 12, 2012, 7:12am EST

The new Hyatt House hotel in SouthSide Works started with about a $1 million excavation job. It’s not a huge building, and it wasn’t supposed to cost that much, but what Rycon Construction Inc. found underground was a kind of memorial to this area’s past.

“J&L mills were a large fixture along the Mon for many years,” said Josh McCall, project engineer at Rycon. “When they left, there was not a stringent code to complete demolition. They basically demolished everything to ground level, brought in 5’ of back fill and left everything beneath.”

Rycon found rail cars, ingots, large pieces of iron, bases from stacks and steel scraps worth about $250,000.

The steel and iron was taken to Neville Island where it will be recycled and used in future manufacturing, contributing to the hotel’s case for a LEED Silver certification.

At various levels of completion, the hotel’s six floors overlook the river, the South Side and, from some rooms, the Downtown skyline.

Here is a tour of the construction in progress.

Anya Litvak covers energy, transportation, gaming, engineering and construction. Contact her at or (412) 208-3824.