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Union Trust gets first major tenant

By Sam Spatter
Tuesday, August 5, 2008 

Downtown’s Union Trust Building on Monday obtained its first major lease since it was purchased by new ownership — with Siemens Engineering signing a 10-year lease to occupy three to six floors in the landmark building.

Siemens Engineering, a unit of Siemens AG, is consolidating its local environmental engineering operations in the building, said Jeremy Kronman, executive vice president of CB Richard Ellis, who headed a team that represented the owner, MIKA Realty Group of Los Angeles.

“We will relocate about 500 Siemens people from 441 Smithfield St. and Oxford Centre, both Downtown, along with personnel in the Crane Building in the Strip District, starting in October and complete it during November, and add several hundred more jobs as we grow,” said Siemens Engineering President Tony DoVale.

In February, Siemens received $2.95 million in state aid in return for a pledge to create 550 jobs within three years. It said at that time that a $5 million expansion project could triple its local operations.


Kronman said the office space leased by Siemens could accommodate up to 1,200 workers.

The 600,000-square-foot building, undergoing a major renovation, was purchased by MIKA Realty Group in February for $24.1 million and was 99 percent vacant. It formerly had been occupied by Mellon Bank as an operations center.

“This tenant is a natural fit with the nature of this development: Siemens’ focus on environmental engineering directly matches our vision of a LEED-rated corporate facility of the highest quality,” said Michael Kamen, principal of MIKA Realty Group, and his investment partner, Jerry Fox, in a statement.

As part of the upgrading of the 11-story building, MIKA has placed a $250,000 scuptured tree in the lobby as “an indication of the rebirth of the building.”

Other improvements that are part of the remodeling include a new lobby, new restrooms, installation of a lower-level parking facility, upgrades to conference facilities and 325-seat theater/auditorium, new exterior lighting, new storefronts and exterior cleaning.

Kronman indicated that other leases may be forthcoming for the building but declined to identify the companies.

Formerly known as Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc., Siemens is a custom manufacturer of air pollution control equipment and systems for industrial and utility applications.

Representing Siemens were Gerry Dudley, Kurt Mrazik, Paul Novello and Jeff Babikian of CBRE’s Corporate Services Group.



Sam Spatter can be reached at sspatter@tribweb.comor 412-320-7843.

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