Rugby Realty Completes Deal for Property in Parkway West Corridor
By Mark Belko
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – December 8, 2017
Rugby Realty has covered its bases at both ends of the Parkway West corridor.
The New Jersey-based real estate firm has completed its purchase of the Cherrington Corporate Center in Moon and a major portion of Foster Plaza in Green Tree.
Rugby bought the properties from Equity Commonwealth, a real estate investment trust. No price was disclosed.
In all, the company is acquiring 15 buildings and 1.2 million square feet of space between the two office parks, one of which is close to Downtown and the other close to Pittsburgh International Airport.
The way Aaron Stauber, Rugby’s President, sees it, the acquisitions give the company the best of both worlds.
“We have two bookends, one close to Downtown and one close to the airport,” he said. “That’s very important in dealing with prospective tenants. We will have the ability to offer tenants access points to either one.”
At Foster Plaza, Rugby has acquired eight buildings and roughly 740,000 square feet of space in all. The buildings range in size from 45,000 to 160,000 square feet. The purchase at Cherrington, a former golf course, totals seven buildings and about 460,000 square feet in all.
The company was drawn to the office parks because of the success it has had with Penn Center West, which it acquired in 2012 when the occupancy was less than 50 percent. It repositioned the property and increased occupancy to more than 95 percent in two years, Mr. Stauber said.
“We think the Parkway West is the best submarket in the whole region,” he said.
As part of the latest acquisitions, Rugby is planning to upgrade amenities for tenants. At Foster Plaza, that includes a cafe, a food court, and beefed up conference centers to supplement an existing sports complex.
At Cherrington, it is planning a new fitness center, outdoor fire pits, gazebos, and other amenities for corporate events. In a bow to its past, Rugby also is investigating the possibility of adding a chipping and putting green.
Most of Rugby’s past acquisitions, which include the Frick, Koppers, and Gulf buildings Downtown, have been concentrated in urban areas. But Mr. Stauber said the Parkway West purchases have energized him.
“Of everything we acquired in the city, I’m probably most excited about these,” he said.
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