Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Pittsburgh's New Trump

"We're going to concentrate on projects like this. And a lot of them, I think, will be in Downtown Pittsburgh." -- Jack Piatt

PITTSBURGH. Some bravado, an appetite for risk, the willingness to put his name on something. Has Pittsburgh found its new Donald Trump in Jack Piatt?

Piatt -- who previously played in the exurbs at Southpointe -- is moving his show downtown, picking up the vacant Lazarus building for a cool $21.5 million, $8.5 to Federated Department Stores, and $21.5 million to the URA through profit sharing.

Piatt, in the tradition of Trump and Carnegie and Frick before him is putting his name over the door, Piatt Place. He's building some housing on top and wants an upscale grocery for a tennant.

Bob O'Connor, whose previous best idea for the Lazarus building was to call it Macy's (which Federated will ultimately implement at Kaufmann's), welcomed the news.

If all goes well, in a few short years we can enjoy a local version of the Apprentice on KDKA, with Jack Piatt as Trump, where contestants can live in Piatt place and market Primanti Bros. Sandwiches.

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