UPMC plans to move 450 employees to Heinz 57 Center

Tim Schooley, Pittsburgh Business Times

After hinting at the possibility in January, UPMC announced it has reached an agreement with H.J. Heinz Co. to sublease three large floors the ketchup maker is leaving behind on Smithfield Street.

The health system announced it intends to sublease about 140,000 square feet at Heinz 57 Center, a converted department store property turned into an office building that has served as Heinz’s North American headquarters.

Susan Manko, a spokeswoman for the health system, said the UPMC Health Plan’s lease at Chatham Center will expire at the end of the summer, which is when 450 employees of the UPMC division will move to Heinz 57 Center.

“The Heinz 57 Center was the best option for us,” she said. Her colleagues reporting the new address offers “beautiful space in great condition,” Manko said.

UPMC has been gradually moving employees out of Chatham Center for some time to its corporate offices in the U.S. Steel Tower, said Manko. The new move to Heinz 57 Center will leave no UPMC presence at Chatham Center.

“We’re pleased to keep these administrative people downtown,” said Manko, adding UPMC also preferred to reserve its Oakland operations for clinical employees.

The move will fill a little more than half of the gaping hole Heinz left in the building named after it last August. It was then that Heinz followed up on announced layoffs of 350 people in the Pittsburgh area with an email blast by its real estate firm, the Pittsburgh office of CBRE, seeking to sublease 276,705 square feet for a remaining term until 2026.

UPMC’s lease is for 12 years, reaching the end of Heinz’s term in the building.

Pat Gruden, who represents Heinz 57 Center as a commercial broker for CBRE, was not immediately available for comment. Nor was Bill Rudolph, a principal of McKnight Realty Partners, the firm which owns the 790,000-square-foot Heinz 57 Center but is not directly involved in the sublease negotiations for the former Heinz space.

“The Heinz 57 Center was the best option for us”
-Susan Manko