Mike Woycheck stands in a cavernous room big enough for several small planes. Concrete pillars, exposed beams and duct work hint a future industrial chic decor. Floor-to-ceiling windows along the far wall offer a spectacular, wide-angle view to the south of the city’s skyline and PNC Park.
Welcome to Alloy 26, the region’s newest collaborative workspace going in at Nova Place, the multi-million-dollar urban renewal project by Faros Properties that’s transforming the long dormant Allegheny Center into a global, corporate campus for high-tech companies.
With 1.2 million square feet of space, a 3,000-car underground parking garage and sprawling, soon-to-be-green outdoor commons, Nova Place is rolling the dice as a catalyst for the explosive growth of the region’s tech industry.
It took a big vision–and an even bigger opportunity–to lure Woycheck away from Google Pittsburgh where he worked for two years in the online shopping arena. Formerly a member of the Innovation Works team that launched the nationally-lauded AlphaLab, Woycheck missed building businesses on the local level, missed it bad.
“We’re taking something that was neglected and turning it into something new and interesting,” Woycheck enthuses. “It’s going to be a huge resource for Pittsburgh.”
Alloy 26—named for the strength of metallic elements when fused together and the atomic number 26—will provide 50,000 square feet of space for more than 300 occupants–the largest space of its kind in Western Pennsylvania. The rent—to be determined—will offer flexible arrangements for entrepreneurs, creators and tech types who might need a desk for a day, a month or long-term.
There’s plenty of space for larger, fast-growing startups looking to expand, Woycheck adds. IW, which moved into Nova Place last month, has already signed on as a partner.
Like Nova Place, Alloy 26 benefits from great proximity and great business partners like IW, says Jeremy Leventhal, Faros’ Properties managing partner. “It’s a five-minute walk to downtown over the Roberto Clemente Bridge. It has the largest underground parking lot in Pittsburgh next to the casino.”
Applications for working fellowships at Alloy 26 will be available this fall. The space will open in early 2016.