Millcraft attracts all-local retail business in Market Square at their Tower Two-Sixty building.

After over a decade of planning and construction, the final pieces of Tower Two-Sixty are falling into place.

Located at 260 Forbes Ave. at the edge of Market Square, the $107 million, LEED CS Silver-certified tower was proposed by Washington County’s Millcraft Investments to then-Mayor Bob O’ Connor in 2005. It has taken less than a year to fill almost all the office and retail space.

“It took a lot of changes and a lot of challenges but we’re really excited where we ended up,” says Lucas Piatt, President and CEO of Millcraft. “It’s a great building with a great tenant mix.”

Tower Two-Sixty. Photo by Connie Zhou.

This spring, Shadyside’s Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream will open a second location next to restaurant and ultra lounge, Revel + Roost. It joins Neapolitan pizza restaurant Pizzuvio and Pirataa Caribbean restaurant that, with over 200 bottles, has done for rum Downtown what Butcher and the Rye has done for bourbon.

“The really cool thing about our retail is it’s all local. We don’t have any national retail chains in the building whatsoever,” says Piatt.

Commercial real estate firm JLL is the namesake tenant with a 54,000-square-foot lease for more than 350 employees. Other tenants in the 18-story building include Merrill Lynch, Coury Financial Group, and Millcraft itself.

This summer, law firm McGuireWoods takes over the building’s top two floors. All that will remain are two chunks of office space totaling about 10,000 sq. ft.

“To really have that quality of folks in the office with us on a daily basis, it creates opportunities within itself,” says Piatt.

The state-of-the-art building also includes a 330-spot parking garage as well as a 197-room Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in March.

The latest tenant is another Millcraft entity: their boutique residential real estate brokerage has joined with luxury real estate brand Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and will now be known as Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty.

“We want to grow our company,” says Piatt. “We will continue to do what we do Downtown in being one of the top producers in the city, but we want to expand that to other markets in and around Pittsburgh. We don’t want to be the biggest, but we will be very distinctive and focus on quality service and quality properties.”

Piatt says that having nearly full occupancy one year in shows the strength of Downtown’s real estate market.

“Speculative office is challenging because Pittsburgh is a show-me city. But once you build new stock, new state-of-the art buildings, companies will come. The moral of the story is you have to build it. When we delivered the project the floodgates opened.”

Brian Conway

Brian Conway is a writer and photographer whose articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune and local publications. In his free time, he operates Tripsburgh. Brian lives in the South Side.