Category Archives: Achievements

Colliers Chit Chat with Ralph Egerman

Everyone in the Colliers International | Pittsburgh office knows Ralph Egerman is an absolute joy to work with. 365 days a year, he works hard for his clients while putting a smile on the face of everyone he encounters.  So, in honor of his birthday, we decided to shine the spotlight on him with a Q&A to find out how Ralph became the broker he is today.

Colliers Chit Chat - Ralph

Question: How did you get your start in Commercial Real Estate?

Ralph: I began my career in February 1981 at Cushman & Wakefield’s Pittsburgh office. These were exciting times in our industry and C&W was involved with projects such as; One Oxford Centre, One Mellon Bank Centre, PPG Place and I was the lead broker for the Warner Centre and the Fulton Building.

Q: How long have you been in the business?

R: I started as a small investor in 1976 purchasing apartments and one small commercial building. I obtained my real estate license in 1980 and decided to make real estate my career.

Q: What is your favorite part of working in the industry?

R: My favorite part of the industry is working with my clients to help them to realize their goals. Additionally, I love to participate in the growth of my beloved city.

Q: Did you have a mentor that helped you when you were new to brokerage?

R: I was very fortunate to have wonderful mentors. Hank Stewart and Jim Morgan of C&W along with Leon Thorpe who later became my investment partner, were instrumental in my success. I still meet with Hank once a month to have lunch and discuss real estate. I believe that mentors are an essential component for the development of a young professional. One of my great joys, is mentoring the new associates here at Colliers Pittsburgh.

Q: What advice would you give to a someone that is new to the industry?

R: I think the best advice I can offer a new broker is to keep personal integrity at the forefront of your practice, commit to a lifetime of continuing education and be disciplined in your work.

Q: When you aren’t working, what is your favorite hobby?

R: When I am not working, I have spent 30 years serving of the Board of Directors of wonderful organizations such as Familylinks, Animal Friends, Parent & Child Guidance and The Nine Mile Run Watershed board. I also love exercise, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Whether it’s making a daily trip to Crazy Mocha to pick up coffee for the entire office, bringing in obscure articles from the Wall Street Journal for the younger brokers to read, or humming oldies tunes, Ralph always manages to light up the office, even on the gloomiest of days.

Happy birthday Ralph, from your family at Colliers International | Pittsburgh.

Colliers International to Sell Centre City Tower in Pittsburgh’s Central Business District

The Colliers International | Pittsburgh investment team of Gregg Broujos and Michelle Keane Domeisen are representing King Penguin Opportunity Fund in the sale of Centre City Tower, a 26-story, 339,701 square foot office building in Pittsburgh’s Central Business District.

Centre City Tower is the largest of three office buildings owned by King Penguin in the city. The other two buildings (The Pittsburgher and The Allegheny Building) will remain with King Penguin as they continue to look for more opportunities to expand their portfolio within the Pittsburgh market. Jennifer Faines, a spokeswoman for King Penguin, confirmed that the company is looking to “reposition” its portfolio and restructure some of their assets.

This sale will come at a great time for the Downtown office market, as office building sales have been relatively dormant over the past year. The biggest sale in 2018 came when the City of Pittsburgh purchased the 155,000 square foot former Art Institute building for $27 million.

Centre City Tower will be hitting the market without a list price, which is part of the sales strategy, said Regional Principal, Broujos. “We’re going to see how high the interest level is before (establishing a call-for-offers date).”

Broujos also believes the size of the building will attract interest from buyers worldwide. With floorplates of more than 12,000 square feet and ongoing building updates, “we continue to see interest from outside the market for buildings of this size.”

The building has seen several recent commitments for long-term leases, leaving it around 72 percent occupied.  A new café, “The Grind” will feature outdoor seating and  is set to open in the near future on the first floor of Centre City Tower.

Pittsburgh Earns Highest Investment Score Since 2007

Every year, the Allegheny Conference and Pittsburgh Regional Alliance release a Business Investment Scorecard for the Pittsburgh region. The scorecard serves as a data snapshot of Pittsburgh’s economic development progress while highlighting specific changes in the region’s investment landscape.  The scores are created by taking into account regional investment deals, capital expenditures and new and retained jobs across the 10-county region. A total of 340 deals were tracked in 2018; which beats the previous record of 308 deals back in 2007.

The scorecard paints a promising picture for the Pittsburgh region. The amount of jobs in our region increased for the 4th straight year. 2018 saw 7,660 new jobs added to the market, a 15% rise from 2017. 2,886 of those jobs fell in the Information Technology and robotics category.

For the second year in a row, Pittsburgh’s IT sector was the most active for investment deals, with a 51% increase in activity from the previous scorecard. IT employees in the Pittsburgh region can expect to see wages 94.5% higher than the average job wage in the region.

The second most active sector for deals across Southwestern PA was manufacturing. Jobs in this industry raised 62% from 2017, for a total of 4,000 new jobs. American Textile Company, Ellwood Quality Steel (EQS) and Bergad, Inc. all expanded within the market, thus bringing almost 150 new jobs to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh’s number one contributor to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) were deals in finance and business services. These industries were also the regions largest employer with over 230,000 total personnel. Bombardier Transportation, Bechtel Plant Machinery and Roadrunner Recycling all expanded within the region in 2018.

This scorecard gives investors a glimpse into the future and confidently demonstrates how Pittsburgh continues to thrive in different sectors.

To see the full scorecard, click here.

Colliers International Hires Three New Brokerage Professionals in Pittsburgh

Colliers International | Pittsburgh is excited to welcome three new brokerage professionals to its team. Michelle Keane Domeisen, Jared Foster and Jonathan Levinson all joined Colliers in late February.

Industry veteran Michelle Keane Domeisen joins Colliers as Vice President of Investment Services. She started in the real estate business in 1984 with Grubb & Ellis, where she was consistently ranked in the top 100 brokers in the nation. Michelle will primarily be working on investment sales for industrial, office, retail and multifamily markets.

Jared joins Colliers as Vice President of Occupier Services and brings more than ten years of experience. In his new role, he will focus on providing tenant representation services for corporate clients. Jared will also be conducting market research in order to provide insights for the quarterly market reports.

Colliers has also added Jonathan Levinson as an Associate for the retail brokerage team. Jonathan recently completed his MBA and will be specializing in retail leasing, sales and tenant representation.

“I am excited to add these three dynamic professionals to our growing team,” said Pittsburgh Market Leader Dick Cassetti. “Michelle brings many years of experience in commercial investment sales to Colliers, including award winning transactions with corporations, pension funds, family trusts and developers. Jared and I have worked together for over 10 years. Having him join Colliers is key to our growth plan. Jonathan was born into a real estate family, and has hit the ground running and I am very confident he will be very successful.”