Canadian Manufacturing

U.S. Steel to build new HQ at former NHL Penguins arena

The plan solves several problems for U.S. Steel, the Penguins and Pittsburgh



PITTSBURGH—United States Steel Corp. announced Nov. 24 it will build its new world headquarters in Pittsburgh as part of the ongoing redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site by the NHL’s Penguins.

Company, team, local and state officials made the announcement at the Consol Energy Center, the hockey arena which opened in 2010 across the street from the site where a team-controlled subsidiary will break ground in August or September.

U.S. Steel chief executive officer Mario Longhi said the new headquarters will open by September 2017, by which time the company’s 50-year lease will expire at the downtown, 64-storey U.S. Steel Tower, the city’s tallest building.

The new five-story building “will serve as a cornerstone in the revitalization of this community and our company,” Longhi said. It will house U.S. Steel’s 800 headquarters employees for at least 18 years, with an option to extend the lease beyond that.

The plan solves several interlocking problems for U.S. Steel, the Penguins and Pittsburgh.

A New York investment firm bought the skyscraping headquarters building for US$250 million in April 2011. A year later, U.S. Steel announced it would likely move out.

What concerned Pittsburghers is whether U.S. Steel would follow Alcoa Inc. out of town or greatly reduce its presence, as happened when ketchup-maker H.J. Heinz Co. moved production out of the city years before being sold to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital last year. Heinz headquarters remain in Pittsburgh.

When he took office earlier this year, Mayor Bill Peduto met Longhi and said, “I will not be the mayor that lost U.S. Steel.”

Enter the Penguins, who have been trying to redevelop the former Civic Arena site a few hundred yards up the hill from U.S. Steel’s downtown headquarters, but a world away economically.

Longhi and the others won’t say how much the new headquarters will cost, but it will occupy 250,000 square feet in a 268,000 square-foot building, the rest being retail shops, Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said. The site will also include a steel museum, to chronicle the company and city’s role in the industry worldwide.

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