Downtown Pittsburgh a magnet for new restaurants

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mark Belko
November 3, 2010

New restaurants are popping up all over the place, a surge attributed in part to Downtown's office, residential and student growth and the deals landlords are willing to offer to fill vacant space.

Overall, at least 15 food establishments, from full-service restaurants to coffee shops, opened Downtown in 2009, according to the Allegheny County Health Department. So far this year, at least 11 more have opened.

Local real estate experts say one of the biggest factors in the restaurant boomlet Downtown and elsewhere was the willingness of landlords, pinched by the recession, to cut deals to fill vacant space.

They are getting deals from developers and the federal government for tenant improvement dollars that previously had been reserved for only the top national chains. It has helped that the chains have been the most cautious about expanding in the current economy.

Another factor is availability of so-called "second generation" opportunities -- new establishments that take over vacant space once occupied by restaurants that fell victim to the recession or other woes.

Not to be overlooked is the burgeoning Downtown residential development; the student population, including the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Point Park and Duquesne universities; and the influx of new office tenants, such as UPMC and EQT Corp.

All provide potential diners, whether for fast food or fine cuisine.

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Restaurants hungry for commercial real estate opportunities, are seeking value in Pittsburgh as a business location. ““It is wonderful to see all of the new and exciting restaurants that are opening in the downtown area. From the owners of Sonoma Grill opening in Market Square; the Penn Avenue Fish Company’s new location in the Golden Triangle; and the Nine on Ninth folks settling in on Liberty Avenue, it’s a great time to be a resident, worker, or visitor in the downtown district. And it’s further proof that residential is the ultimate driver of commercial activity,” said Gregg Broujos, Founding Principal at NAI Pittsburgh Commercial.

Pittsburgh is on the value menu when it comes to a prime location for the restaurant industry. From fine dining to grab and go, Pittsburgh is drawing recognized names and specialty eateries.

Hungry for more? NAI Pittsburgh Commercial is a Pittsburgh proud locally owned and operated company. To see some of the investment and development opportunities available in the Pittsburgh region click here.

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