Rugby’s Plans for Conference Centers Stretch from Airport to Downtown

By Paul J. Gough
Pittsburgh Business Times – December 13, 2017

The Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh (File: Joe Wojcik)

One of the benefits of Rugby Realty’s latest acquisitions of Cherrington Corporate Center and Foster Plaza is an upcoming expansion of the firm’s conference center system.

Rugby has conference centers in its portfolio of commercial buildings in the Pittsburgh region, holdings that include the Koppers Building, the Gulf Tower and the Frick Building in downtown Pittsburgh as well as a handful of buildings at Penn Center West. Rugby Principal and President Aaron Stauber said that plans for his newest acquisitions include new conference centers for the use of tenants.

But with holdings that stretch from downtown Pittsburgh and the South Side to near Pittsburgh International Airport, Stauber said that Rugby is in the midst of expanding its conference center system. Soon all of its tenants, no matter where they are located, will be able to book the conference centers in any of the other buildings owned by Rugby.

Say you’re a tenant of the Frick Building and want to meet clients near the airport or at Cherrington Corporate Center. You’ll be able to reserve the conference center, as will clients of Cherrington and Foster reserve available space at Rugby’s conference centers downtown.

“Until we had this critical mass of properties spread across the area, we didn’t have the ability to do this,” Stauber said.

There’s no time line yet for it all to come together: It’ll be made easier by a smartphone and web app that is being developed, Stauber said.

“We’re working on designing this so it will be seamless,” he said.

The design for the Cherrington and Foster Plaza conference centers are being done by Lawrenceville based Desmone Architects. Desmone designed the largest co-working space in Pittsburgh, Alloy 26, for Faros Properties.

“It’s being modeled both after some of the existing conference spaces that Rugby has downtown as well as some of the other kinds of meeting spaces and places like Alloy 26 that have the ability to take on multiple tasks at any one time: gathering spaces, meeting spaces, event spaces that can energize an office park and really raise the bar as far as amenity spaces go,” said Principal Chip Desmone.

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