Sketch of the Murdoch Building, slated to open in 2019.

There’s a new structure about to go up in Oakland, but it’s not another medical center or fast food joint.

Today, workers will break ground on the Murdoch Building, an eight-story, 95,000-square-foot office and retail space on the corner of Forbes and Coltart avenues.

Slated to open in the third quarter of 2019, the building has only 35,000 square feet of office space currently remaining for rental. Two tenants have already locked in a large portion of the building: The University of Pittsburgh has leased the top four floors and CVS Pharmacy will occupy a portion of the ground-level retail area.

There’s no word yet on other potential tenants. But Andrew Miller of the real estate development firm CBRE, which is marketing the new property’s available offices, expects that “the building will facilitate an increase in office employment in the Oakland business district.”

The property, which is owned by Murland Associates LP, is currently a parking lot. Parking, as any Oakland visitor knows, is already scarce. So all of the current spaces will not be disappearing: Miller says there will be 55 parking spaces at the new building, both indoor and outdoor, plus bicycle storage and electric car charging stations. Other amenities will include rooftop patios.

Another perk: The new building, designed by JMAC Architects, is designed to be greener than much of the currently available office space. The project is aiming for LEED certification by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Dunham reGroup LLC is Murland’s representative and development consultant for the project, and the general contractor is Mascaro Construction Company.

For years, Oakland has been lacking significant, higher-end office space. So what took so long?

“It’s complicated,” Miller says. “But the short answer is that it is very difficult to achieve all the pieces necessary to make the construction of a new office building economically and practically feasible.”

Although the project is very much focused on Pittsburgh’s future, it does have one unique tie to the city’s past: Murland Associates is a family-owned real estate company that traces its ties in Pittsburgh back seven generations to ancestor John Murdoch, namesake of Murdoch Farms, in the early 19th century.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.