The field workplace begins. The Southside Works cinema is being transformed into workplace house

It opened as a movie theater twenty years ago, a centerpiece for an ambitious 34-acre mixed-use live work-play development on a formerly polluted steel mill that has been renamed SouthSide Works.

Some parts of SouthSide Works have been quite successful, such as the office space (which attracts American Eagle headquarters and an engineering firm from Amazon) and the residential units. The retail share began to struggle a few years ago, however, and vacancies have plagued the project for years.

In March, New York-based SomeraRoad took over the helm from new owner SouthSide Works and unveiled an ambitious plan for the website redesign. The cinema would become a box office with 77,000 square meters of flexible high-tech class A office space.

SomeraRoad laid the foundation stone at the box office last week.

Box office at SouthSide Works. Rendering courtesy of HOK and SomeraRoad.

“We have found that the highest and best use of this space is in a creative office building,” says Jonathon Reeser of SomeraRoad. “We can take the same footprint that we have today and lean on this historic movie theater and marquee … and make it a beautiful adaptive reuse of that steel and glass space. I think it will be one of the most impressive adaptive reuse projects in Pittsburgh. “

New features include a large central communal staircase and a huge video wall perfect for town hall meetings. The box office will also feature a 4,000-square-foot elevated outdoor deck overlooking the redesigned SouthSide Works Town Square. It is intended as a relaxation or meeting room.

The design comes from the architecture, engineering and planning giant HOK.

Box office at SouthSide Works. Rendering courtesy of HOK and SomeraRoad.

Down at street level, developers plan to add retail space on the first floor. They can be used by upstairs office tenants as flexible workspaces or as “experimental shop fronts,” SomeraRoad notes in a statement.

The company has 500 employees working at the box office, increasing pedestrian traffic on the property, and promoting the evolving retail mix (more to be announced).

Interior of the box office at SouthSide Works. Rendering courtesy of HOK and SomeraRoad.

The redesigned SouthSide Works Town Square will be setting up grocery kiosks made from reused shipping containers, a new stage for outdoor performances, and green spaces for games, exercise and hanging out.

The national chain anchors, including REI, Urban Outfitters, and LA Fitness, remain in place.

Later this year SomeraRoad will lay the foundation stone for a riverside project with 200,000 square feet of office space and 230 apartment buildings. Overall, the company plans capital improvements of $ 37 million for the complex and more than $ 130 million in new developments on the property and riverside.

SouthSide Works is also partnering with the site’s new resident artist Baron Batch, who will work in a new gallery and contribute to public art across the site.

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