Pittsburgh Office Investment Forecast
Stock Expansion Targets High-Skill Industries;
Local Investors Take a Wait-And-See Approach
Pittsburgh's innovators the biggest factor in market preferences. Despite vacancy remaining elevated throughout the 2022 calendar year, metro office stock is expected to grow by 910,000 square feet, the largest amount in over five years. While this delivery volume is substantial, the 600,000 square feet added to the Oakland submarket will benefit from the locale's proximity to the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon, in addition to several medical centers. Here, the burgeoning life sciences sector is spurring demand for lab space from academic-linked biotechnology firms. The remaining space is scheduled to come online in Greater Downtown's the Strip neighborhood, which had been attracting tenants exiting higher-cost leases in the CBD even prior to the health crisis. Aurora Innovations announced its expansion into the metro last year, joining competitor Argo AI in the Strip as Pittsburgh becomes a regional center for driverless technology research. This follows as the city's tech firms select relatively less dense urban submarkets with a supply of amenity-rich offices. While the placement of this year's new stock should help mitigate upward-trending availability, a considerable amount of proposed square footage in the pipeline may weigh on vacancy in the near- to mid-term if those projects move forward.