Ron Schuler Weighs in on Law Firms, Leadership and Pittsburgh

Ronald W. Schuler, Member in Charge of Spilman’s Pittsburgh office, was recently asked about the impact of Pittsburgh’s law firm leadership being located outside of the city. It’s a trend that has materialized with two of Pittsburgh’s largest law firms, but has been avoided by Spilman.

Schuler was interviewed by the Pittsburgh Business Times regarding his take on how outside leadership can impact the city. According to Schuler, “One of the inevitable consequences is leadership shifts outside of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh becomes de-emphasized to some degree.” He continues, “When the leadership of a law firm is in Pittsburgh, it’s more likely those firms will play a role in or have influence here. If it isn’t, it’s harder for that to occur. The things law firm leaders did in the 1980s and 1990s, participating in the birth of technology and starting business opportunities, were because they were in Pittsburgh. When firms become more nationalized or delocalized, that begins to fall away.”

Examples of the impacts can be seen with other industries. “You might have local leaders but leadership and influence run from the top of the firm and that’s the danger we face,” Schuler said. “I don’t say it’s the end of the world. But it’s akin to what happened to the corporate sector. You could see it in Pittsburgh that large CEOs felt a duty to collaborate. You don’t see that same paternal approach over trying to improve the city when leadership changes from local to national and international.”

So what do the largest firms have to say about this trend? Click here to read the entire article.

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The Golden Triangle Remains Golden and is Growing

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has issued their latest report and the news is good.  According to the State of Downtown report, new development is occurring and going beyond the “golden triangle.”

In 2015, the city saw $636 million in new projects, which is an increase of 21 percent since 2014. The growth is mainly being seen in the North Side and Strip District, which are just outside of the Central Business District.

In addition, there is a wave of real estate inventory coming to the downtown region with:

  • 1.4 million square feet of office space,
  • 761 new hotel rooms and
  • 1,380 residential units

The report notes that the residential population has continually increased, competitive hotel room rates have remained steady and average Class A office rents reaching an all-time high of $27.70 per square foot.

Click here to read the entire Pittsburgh Business Times article.

 

U.S. Natural Gas Production – The Good News Is…..

The Marcellus Shale and Pennsylvania led the way in U.S. natural gas production in 2015. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania had record daily average figures last year with 79 billion cubic feet produced per day – up five percent from the year prior. Pennsylvania was the second highest gas producing state with Ohio and West Virginia coming in closely behind.

Unfortunately, the state’s 2015 growth was less than the growth reported in 2014 over 2013. Drops in natural gas prices and cutbacks in rigs and employment led to a decrease in growth in the Marcellus and everywhere else. Some positive news – overall production is trending upward.

Click here to read the entire Pittsburgh Business Times article.

 

Looking to Retire?

Are you looking for a place with lower taxes, great medical facilities and recreation? Do you need to find an ideal city where you can retire?  According to SmartAsset, Canonsburg is the place for you.

The Canonsburg zip code ranked number one out of 186 towns and the best place for retirees. They considered North Strabane and Cecil Township included in this area as well.

Canonsburg wasn’t the only Pennsylvania town identified. Read the Pittsburgh Business Times article and The Observer-Reporter article to find out more.

Pittsburgh Housing Market Remains Strong – Even with This Economy

According to a recent report by Nationwide Insurance, Pittsburgh is one the few major metro areas that has experienced sustained growth in the housing market.

Pittsburgh was ranked number 19 out of 40 cities that also included Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Louisville, Milwaukee and New York City.

In addition to the sustained growth, Nationwide suggested there is no chance of a downturn in the housing market for the near future. The energy market’s decline has caused housing issues in states like Louisiana and Texas, but has not seemed to impact the Commonwealth.

You can read the entire Pittsburgh Business Times article by clicking here.

There’s a Food Boom in Pittsburgh. So What’s Driving It?

The headlines keep coming. First, Zagat named Pittsburgh the No. 1 food city in America. Vogue has a piece that proclaimed, “Pittsburgh is not just a happening place to visit — increasingly, people, especially New Yorkers, are toying with the idea of moving here.”

The people that are making Pittsburgh more and more of a popular destination are…….young people. Not what you would expect from the Steel City. But, according to a recent New York Times article, “Cheap rent and a voracious appetite for culture have attracted artists. Cheap rent and Carnegie Mellon University have attracted companies like Google, Facebook and Uber, seeking to tap local tech talent. And cheap rent alone has inspired chefs to pursue deeply personal projects that might have a hard time surviving in the Darwinian real estate microclimates of New York and San Francisco.”

It’s a fantastic article that’s worth the read!

Pittsburgh International Airport Flights – Where Do You Want to Go?

Starting August 7, 2016, Southwest Airlines will begin offering a direct flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. Currently, American Airlines offers a 6 a.m. flight, but it is only available four times a week during the winter.

In addition to the L.A. destination, Southwest will start offering flights to St. Louis on March 10 and seasonal service to Palm Beach, Florida.

In the last 13 months, the airport added 21 new routes including OneJet offering service to Hartford, Connecticut and four other cities. In addition, Frontier Airlines will offer flights to Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida starting in June.

So will you be flying the friendly skies soon to any of these new destinations? Click here to participate in our survey.

Click here to read the entire Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.

 

2015 – A Very Good Year for Venture Capital Investment in Pittsburgh

According to a MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, Pittsburgh is one of the top metros for venture capital (“VC”) investments.

Out of 133 metros, Pittsburgh ranked 10th for the number of companies that received VC investments last year. More than 80 companies reported investments and the Steel City ranked 18th in terms of dollars invested at $199 million.

Not surprisingly, New York City was a top metro. But, one city had almost double the amount of investment. Read this Pittsburgh Business Times article to get the details.

Starting a Start-Up? Pittsburgh Could be the Right Fit

According to DataFox, Pittsburgh is an ideal location to launch a start-up.

Universities are catalysts needed as they provide intellectual capital and successful alumni with financial resources. Ideal cities are also centrally located.

Of course, Silicon Valley and New York City are hubs for start-ups, but Pittsburgh ranks number six out of the top 15. The top five include Cambridge, Massachusetts; Santa Monica, California; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Boulder, Colorado; and Wilmington, Delaware.

Click here to read the Pittsburgh Business Times‘ blog post and see the entire list and metrics.

Pittsburgh is One of the Top Tourist Locations

According to TripAdvisor, Pittsburgh is one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the United States.

The site highlights 295 places to visit and says, “Steel and coal may have built this city, and you’ll see the names ‘Mellon’ and ‘Carnegie’ on an awful lot of things, but Pittsburgh has come a long way from its gritty, industrial past.”

What other cities made the ranking? And, is the number one location a surprise? Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette blog post here.