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'A humble kind of development:' Former Lexington Technology Park buildings get new name, new purpose

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 3 days ago By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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Part of the former Lexington Technology Park in North Point Breeze has a new name and a new focus.

Rockwell Park will feature 800,000 square feet of Class A office and flexible and advanced manufacturing space as well as restaurants and experiential retail.

Overall, the mixed-use development spans eight buildings along Thomas Boulevard, Penn Avenue, and N. Lexington Street, including two from the former technology park.

One of those buildings will be incorporated into the first phase of the redevelopment and the other will join a second phase, said Al Lardo, a principal in Rockwell Park Development, the company behind the venture.

Rockwell Park, formerly known as Icon Development, had purchased the buildings from the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority for offices related to technology, health care, and professional services; maker, artist, and studio space and light manufacturing.

In addition to the office uses, the 24-acre Rockwell Park will include up to 100,000 square feet of retail.

The Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE real estate firms have begun marketing the office and retail spaces, respectively, in the first phase.

Rockwell Park Development has spent more than six years acquiring the properties that are part of the development.

It is preserving all of the buildings rather than doing any new construction. The first phase investment will total about $65 million. Overall, the redevelopment will reach about $100 million in investment.

Mr. Lardo said the vision has been “to preserve the authenticity of that previous innovation district,” one that included Rockwell International’s Research and Development Center.

“We’re trying to preserve with a very humble kind of development approach,” he said. “We’re trying to repurpose every building. They’re wonderful buildings with great bones.”

He said most of the work on the Lexington Technology Park properties will take place in phase two.

A year ago, M*Modal, a local division of 3M, committed to taking 53,000 square feet in a building at 7514 Thomas. It is set to move in at the end of the month.

“We welcome like-minded organizations to Rockwell Park as an ideal location for workforce recruitment, university collaboration and invention,” Mr. Lardo said.

Other current tenants include the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama, BirdBrain Technologies, Lifeware Labs, Near Earth Autonomy, and East End Food Co-op.

Rockwell Park Development has completed about three quarters of the first phase, Mr. Lardo said.

The redevelopment will feature amenities like a 50,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, a tenant business lounge, fitness center, coffee shop, more than 900 parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, a climbing gym, and yoga studio.

Herky Pollock, CBRE executive vice president, said there has been “tremendous” interest in the retail space despite the impacts of the pandemic.

Jason Stewart, JLL managing director, is marketing the office space.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.

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