Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chef to Open Restaurant in Union Trust Building

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chef to Open Restaurant in Union Trust Building

Article excerpt

Downtown's renaissance is hitting Grant Street.

A new restaurant is headed for the historic Union Trust Building, representing the first major retail tenant signed by The Davis Companies, the Boston-based real estate investment and development firm that bought the property at 501 Grant St. at sheriff sale in 2014.

Named Union Standard, the restaurant will be owned by Derek Stevens, the executive chef at Eleven in the Strip District who is leaving to pursue his dream of running his own place.

The signing marks a first key step in the efforts by Davis to fill the mostly vacant 40,000 square feet of retail space in the building, which featured a four-story shopping arcade when it opened in 1917 and at one time housed the upscale Larrimor's clothing store and Sharper Image.

It also is a shot in the arm for the Grant Street area, which has lost energy with the closing of the nearby Macy's and the now demolished Saks Fifth Avenue and retail vacancies at Union Trust and One Oxford Centre.

Near Union Trust, Philadelphia-based Core Realty is planning two floors of retail, including a possible bowling alley, as part of a makeover of Macy's that also will include a 155-room hotel and 311 apartments. The developer has yet to sign any tenants. San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC recently purchased One Oxford with plans to make major upgrades.

"The addition of Union Standard will be a major step in the transformation of both the Union Trust Building and Mellon Square. A year from now, no one will recognize either of them," predicted Herky Pollock, the CBRE broker who represented Davis and Mr. Stevens.

Mr. Stevens, who has been executive chef at Eleven for 10 years, said he has been looking for a spot Downtown to open a restaurant for the past year. When he came across the Union Trust space, it was "too perfect" to pass up.

"It's a fantastic property. I'm amazed how many people are talking about that building, how cool it is. …

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