Armstrong County’s Northpointe Office Park set for Expansion

Pittsburgh Business Times
by Tim Schooley

Pittsburgh, PA (May 7,2010)

The private sector may be struggling to come up with financing for industrial real estate development, but that isn’t stopping the Armstrong County Industrial Development Authority from pushing forward on a 30,000 SF addition at Northpinte, a 995 acre mixed-use development.

With $4million in state and federal dollars in hand, the county authority expects to break ground soon, adding to the development, located in South Buffalo Township near the Route 28 Allegheny Expressway.

“If we can fill that niche, I’m happy to do so,” said Michael Coonley, executive director of the public authority, which works jointly with Armstrong County Industrial Development Council. “It was the perfect storm. There was a need indentified in that 28 corridor. We had very little to spare in our existing buildings.”

Home to a mix of tenants that includes Boeing, BNY Mellon and a branch of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Northpointe now consists of nine privately owned buildings.

With occupancy at the development running near 100 percent since its first year, Northpointe was able to secure local and federal funding for the project, which should be available in the fall. While still intended for flex use, the new building’s configuration will be designed more for office users and accommodate either larger tenants or small companies in need of about 6,000 SF.

“It will probably have a higher percentage of office users than our previous buildings,” Coonley said. “There are components of the building that will have areas for light manufacturing and research and development.”

John Bilyak, the director of Industrial Brokerage with NAI Pittsburgh Commercial helping to market the property, was unsure if the business park would be able to draw the same kinds of defense-related companies it has in the past, given the passing last year of U.S. Rep. Jack Murtha, the powerful Johnstown Democrat who brought considerable federal funding to his district, which includes Northpointe.

But Bilyak expects the new building will have no problem finding tenants, with vacancy levels low and little other available land in the area. “The northeast corridor of the Allegheny Valley has never been tighter since I’ve been in the business,” he said. “That includes any product type with the exception of retail.”

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