Pittsburgh’s favorite convenient store will expand its tech presence in Bakery Square.
Sheetz, the Altoona-headquartered chain of quick service food and gas stations, initially launched its tech and innovation presence in the Bakery Square Two office in October 2019. At the time, it reportedly created a sort of incubator to consider the potential of robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies in advancing the convenience business. Now, the company will add to that presence with a 20,000-square-foot space as the first tenant in the new Bakery Square Four office, which offers a total of over 60,000 square feet in office space.
Set to open in August 2022, the new office will take up the entire second floor of the Bakery Square Four building and house both corporate employees and employees of Sheetz’s IT, data and innovations departments.
“Pittsburgh has truly become a destination for companies that are looking to innovate and create new and unique business ideas,” said Emily Sheetz, VP for strategy and IT at Sheetz, in a statement. “That is why we decided to not only locate our first-ever innovation hub here, but to also identify new growth opportunities such as this new office space in this city. This space allows Sheetz an incredible opportunity to access some of the premier talent and networks along the East Coast that is located right here in Pittsburgh.”
Bakery Square is undoubtedly the biggest hub for Pittsburgh tech, home to Google, Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care Group and the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. Google’s initial presence in the redeveloped Nabisco factory is arguably one of the main factors in broadly launching Pittsburgh’s tech renaissance. Sheetz’s reinforced commitment with this new office space will only add to the community that’s grown there since Google’s launch, and will help ensure that a local business is in frequent communication with some of the biggest tech players in the area.
But beyond what this new space will mean for Sheetz’s tech business in the future, the dedication to having such a large physical space is a sign that the company will eventually expect employees to work there, whether full-time in-person or on a hybrid model. That presence will not only help to anchor Pittsburgh as a physical destination for business, but continue to support the restaurants, coffee shops and other food and retails spots in the area that provide places for the tech community and others in the neighborhood to gather and interact more casually.
The expansion news is coupled with a $5,000 donation from Sheetz to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, which will be matched by matched by partial Bakery Square owners Walnut Capital.
A spokesperson for Sheetz did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how many jobs Sheetz expects to fill at the new location, how many employees currently work at Bakery Square and what, specifically, this site’s tech employees will be working on.
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments. -30-