The 133-year old locomotive Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green –once used to service trains– is being transformed into a tech hub as the new home of OneValley Innovation Center.

“The Roundhouse will be OneValley’s first Innovation hub outside of its two locations in San Mateo, California and Boston, Massachusetts,” said Sam Reiman, director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, at a press conference in the Roundhouse on Monday. “They could have chosen any other location in the world, and they chose Pittsburgh.”

The Silicon Valley-based company is taking over all 26,000 square feet of space at the Roundhouse to house and support startups and more. Construction is scheduled for completion in spring 2021, said Anne Chen, a partner at GBBN, the architecture firm designing the building.

“We believe that Pittsburgh is, and has been throughout history, one of the strongest and most important innovation communities in the world,” said OneValley CEO Nikhil Sinha in a statement, “and we are excited to connect Pittsburgh’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem to the global resources they need to create, launch, build and scale their businesses while staying rooted in the Pittsburgh community.”

The transformation of the Roundhouse, Chen noted, is about melding Pittsburgh’s industrial past with its tech-forward future.

“We have the past, which is this industrial building that was never meant for the occupancy of people, being converted and transformed into something that is absolutely for people, said Chen. The space will not only be for the entrepreneurs working inside but also for the community that is going to part of this, she added.

A rendering of the interior of the Roundhouse.

Bay doors were removed from the Roundhouse and will be replaced with a glass wall to bring natural daylight into the building as well as views to the exterior.

During the tour on Monday, Chen pointed out a new concrete slab in the interior and a new partial second-floor structure also made of concrete. “Those are entirely new and they facilitate the occupancy of OneValley, and the open office environment, called collaborative spaces, that will be provided as part of that tenant fit-out.

Roundhouse interior view from the second floor.

“For the most part, everything else is existing and it really is about stabilizing it and making this into a space for human well-being and innovation. So there’s a lot of infrastructure work that you don’t see here both under the slab and under the site.”

The turntable to rotate trains located just outside the building will become an accessible, inviting space for people to walk on and sit at,” she said. It will overlook a transformed landscape.

It’s all about creating this sustainable environment that is going to look well into the future, Chen added.

The Roundhouse is part of an overall redevelopment of the 178-acre former brown site known as Hazelwood Green. Read about the recently opened  Mill 19 here. 

“The transformation of Hazelwood Green and its connection back to the community is no overnight success,” said Reiman. “It is the result of three foundations tirelessly investing more than $100 million in patient capital over 18 years to remediate and prepare the site for the types of economic development, sustainability and community opportunities that are before us today.”