RIDC took ownership of Heppenstall Steel’s former 14-acre industrial site in 2002 with the vision of creating an urban technology park. Without being able to predict the future explosion of Lawrenceville’s popularity, RIDC made a timely investment in the riverfront tract before the neighborhood was cool. Lawrenceville (and neighboring East Liberty) was ranked #1 trendiest neighborhood in America by Money Magazine.
A former Atlantic & Pacific Company storehouse built on the site in 1930 became a chocolate factory for Geoffrey Boehm in the 1990s (now Edward Marc/the Milk Shake Factory), and has been completely renovated into a multi tenant, office/high-tech manufacturing facility. Named the Chocolate Factory, as a hat tip to its past, the 70,000 square-foot building is now home to some of Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing technology firms, including nanoGriptech, Helomics and HEBI Robotics. Several spaces in the Chocolate Factory are available for lease.
The former Heppenstall building, a 50,000 square-foot heavy industrial high-bay facility, was built out for Carnegie Robotics, a spin-off from the nearby National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). This industrial renovation project was recognized in 2017 by NAIOP as one of the top reuse projects in North America.
RIDC’s new Tech Forge, a 67,000 square foot high-tech and high efficiency flex building is home to Caterpillar’s Pittsburgh Automation Center and Aurora Innovation. RIDC owns several more acres for future development.