Path cleared for ‘urban flex’ in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood

Oxford Development Co. has secured the land it needs to build a 51,000-square-foot office building at Pittsburgh Technology Center in Oakland. Now it’s working on a tenant.

City council approved the sale of 1.5 acres of riverfront land to Oxford on Tuesday for $690,000 plus costs, clearing the way for the developer to advance the project.

Oxford hopes to start construction on the $12 million, three-story “urban flex” office building this summer, with completion targeted for spring 2016.

The building will be built on the Monongahela riverfront and will feature 13½-foot ceilings, open floor plans and a third-floor outdoor deck. Oxford is hoping to attract the same type of high technology and professional services companies that occupy many of the other office buildings in the complex off Second Avenue.

It is counting on strong demand for the space given its location on the fringe of Downtown and proximity to the Central Oakland business district with its hospitals and universities.

“We felt it was a great location for this type of building,” said Shawn Fox, Oxford’s director of business development and marketing. Mr. Fox said the developer is in discussions with possible tenants, although no deals have been reached.

The company hopes to have leases in place in several months, Mr. Fox said. The goal is to have a tenant signed before construction starts.

Downtown-based Oxford manages and leases and served as construction manager on the 2000 Technology Drive office building near the site of the new project.

Pittsburgh Technology Center was built on land that for many years held the Jones & Laughlin hot mill. Development of the 48-acre site began in the early 1990s. It’s considered one of the city’s most successful developments.

Mark Belko: or 412-263-1262.