Jackson Kelly Joins Union Trust Building in Downtown Pittsburgh

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Another law firm is headed to the historic Union Trust Building, Downtown.

Jackson Kelly PLLC has signed a 10-year lease to occupy more than 12,000 square feet of space on the 10th and 11th floors of the ornate Grant Street icon, built by industrialist Henry Clay Frick.

The law firm will be relocating from its current offices in Three Gateway Center. It plans to move into its new digs in the fall.

Jackson Kelly is the sixth law firm to take space in the Frederick J. Osterling-designed architectural jewel, which owner The Davis Companies of Boston has spent $100 million restoring.

It will join Pepper Hamilton, Blank Rome, Frost Brown Todd, Marshall Dennehey, and Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, which will be moving into the building in September from One Oxford Centre.

Jackson Kelly will be taking a two-story space in one of the building’s four corners. It will feature a glass ceiling and large atrium-style open floor plans connected by a stairway.

“The unique quad space offers a different work environment, incorporating collaboration and technology that will help us provide innovative legal services to our clients. We are looking forward to this change,” said Ellen Cappellanti, Jackson Kelly managing member.

With the latest addition, the building will be about 90 percent filled on the office side. That’s more than double the 39 percent occupancy rate The Davis Companies inherited when it bought the building for $14 million at sheriff’s sale in 2014.

Jonathan Davis, The Davis Companies CEO and founder, said that virtually all of the new tenants in the building have come from top-tier, or Class A, office towers in the city.

“I think that speaks volumes about the way in which tenants have shared our enthusiasm for the uniqueness of the Union Trust Building’s offerings,” he said.

From the beginning, the firm’s vision for the real estate was to “create something so unique that we could compete at the high end of the market” with a historic rehab.

At this point, only about 50,000 square feet of office space remains available in a building totaling 517,376 square feet. All of the first floor retail space, which was nearly empty when the property was acquired, has been taken.

The newest retail tenant — Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, which plans to convert two of the old building’s heavily fortified bank vaults into private dining rooms — is expected to open in February 2020.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to see the market’s acceptance of the property,” Mr. Davis said.

As part of the $100 million rehab, the owner restored the building’s opulence, from its Flemish-Gothic exterior to the brass and stained glass on the inside.

It also added amenities like an 80-seat state-of-the-art conference facility, a 5,000-square-foot fitness center and a 175-space underground garage. Tenants also have access to a 350-seat theater once used by Frick.