Small Change Announces Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bank Building Real Estate Offering

Real estate crowdfunding platform Small Change announced this week the launch of Pittsburgh’s Liberty Bank Building real estate offering. The funding portal noted that the project is seeking $300,000 to fund development of the building into co-working operator Beauty Shoppe’s flagship location.

According to Small Change, Beauty Shoppe currently occupies about 50% of the building and is growing rapidly with occupancy at 100% and a waitlist of more than 24 months. Membership starts at just $125 a month, making it the most affordable place for businesses to do work in East Liberty neighborhood. A partnership has emerged, resulting in a new agreement for Beauty Shoppe to manage the entire building and fill it with co-working members. 

Eve Picker, through her company no wall productions first tackled the Liberty Bank Building in 2003, stated:

“There was not much to save other than the walls. But making it functional and beautiful again was the easy part. The bigger challenge was finding funds to redevelop it.”

Picker also noted that the next reincarnation of the Liberty Bank Building is having difficulty getting funds because it is considered to be the first full co-working building in Pittsburgh:

“Why is it so difficult to finance projects that bring innovation and new life to neighborhoods and cities? Must we rely on traditional financial institutions that are not very innovative at their core?”

The funding will go towards three rounds of improvements that are planned over the next 20 months as leases expire for the building’s remaining traditional office tenants. Improvements include renovating existing spaces, creating a large lobby, turning the basement into an event space, adding new signage, and investing in furniture, fixtures, and equipment. With each expansion round, a period of approximately four months is anticipated to fully occupy the new space with new Beauty Shoppe members. The street-facing ground-floor retail space will remain retail market space.

Small Change added there is a 10% projected return on debt instrument. A full return of interest and capital is anticipated in 36 months. This is not an offer to sell securities.

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