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June 30: Carnegie Mellon To Purchase Forbes Avenue Properties; Officials Cite Opportunities for Economic Development


Ken Walters   

Carnegie Mellon To Purchase Forbes Avenue Properties;
Officials Cite Opportunities for Economic Development

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University has reached an agreement to purchase approximately three acres of land from Carnegie Institute and an additional 17,150 square feet from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. to further develop Forbes Avenue into an educational, research, business and cultural corridor.
The agreement with Carnegie Institute includes properties on both sides of Forbes Avenue, including a large lot that dips into Junction Hollow on the south side of Forbes, the 40,000-square-foot Graphic Arts Technical Foundation building at 4615 Forbes and an adjoining parking lot on the north side of the street. Carnegie Mellon also will purchase the National City property at 4612 Forbes, currently owned and operated by PNC. The transactions are valued at approximately $25 million.
Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon said the university will soon begin a process to create a plan for the development of the land. He added that he could "envision many uses — including a multi-use development — that will advance Carnegie Mellon's priorities and the region's economic development.
"This is an investment in our future," he added. "This land is of such compelling importance to the university that we have decided to move forward with the purchase, even in this challenging economic climate."
The development of the Forbes Avenue corridor has been under discussion on campus since 1999, and is noted in the university's Campus Master Plan approved by the City of Pittsburgh in 2002. The university hopes to model the development of some of the property after its Collaborative Innovation Center, which has allowed Carnegie Mellon to attract Apple, Google, Intel and a Microsoft sponsored research lab. A recent ranking of Pittsburgh as one of the nation's "Top 10 Up and Coming Tech Cities" by cited the Collaborative Innovation Center as a key reason Pittsburgh is a leading technology city.
Cohon said Carnegie Mellon envisions the development of an educational, research and cultural corridor, created in partnership with the local community, government, business and industry that will be a benchmark for Pittsburgh. "This land is an investment in our growth and promise as a university and a partner in our region," he added.
"Our dynamic education sector has been critical to unlocking Pittsburgh's potential. Organizations like the Allegheny Conference have high expectations of what can be done when the university grows because we've seen what having great organizations in such close proximity will do for the region. Carnegie Mellon has a unique way of adding luster to many of the city's growth sectors," said Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.
PNC said that its branch will remain in operation on the site while Carnegie Mellon considers options for developing the property.