About Us

History

James Genstein, a native of Pittsburgh, started In-A-Flash, a manufacturer and distributor of educational self-study products for high school students in 1983. This company was ranked in the Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing privately-held companies in 1996. In 1997, Mr. Genstein sold the company to World Marketing, which continues to profitably operate the business today. Mr. Genstein then joined Joseph Genstein, Inc., a family distribution business of printing supplies, which he sold in 1998 to a division of Fuji Photo Film.

While consulting on direct marketing and printing related entities, Jim developed the former site of the family business into commercial office space on Pittsburgh’s South Side. This 11,000 square foot facility serves as a premier office complex. The property was designed and built with a modernized industrial/high technology motif and is managed by Mr. Genstein.

In 2004 Mr. Genstein began development on the Northern Light Tower, a 40,000 square foot high-rise office tower behind Heinz Field. The property ended its construction phase in 2005 and is 100% leased. This project was the first Pennsylvania project to close financing via New Market Tax Credits, a government sponsored program that delivers an after tax return of 39% to the project owners as subordinate financing. Mr. Genstein is considered an authority on this type of financing and has appeared on WPXI’s “Our Regions Business” and on KDKA’s “Business Journal” speaking on New Market Tax Credit financing. In 2007 The Northern Light Tower was named NAOIP’s Renovation of the Year.

In 2005, Mr. Genstein acquired the vacant Robinson Medical Center from Highmark, Inc. (The State’s leading heath care insurance provider.) A private equity group was formed and a complete renovation of this 22,000 square foot medical facility was undertaken. The property was (and remains) 100% leased before the acquisition was complete.

In 2006, Mr. Genstein acquired a former flex building in the Kisow business park just west of Pittsburgh and developed his first charter school property. The facility was completely renovated including a 20% expansion to its current 33,000 square foot size. The property was leased to Propel Schools, and is utilized as a charter elementary school. The school began classes in September of 2007 and has already enrolled 100% of its projected student base, and has a waiting list of nearly 200+ additional students. In 2010, this property was sold back to its Tenant, Propel and is no longer in Mr. Genstein’s portfolio.

In 2008, Mr. Genstein acquired 2 buildings, 3 parcels of Land and a 2-unit house in Sharpsburg, PA. The complex was the former home to Fort Pitt Beer in the 1940’s through 1960’s. The former brewery is being renovated, area by area, converting warehouse space to new “loft style” office spaces with an Art Deco motif. The Complex is 70% leased to nearly 20 different office and warehouse tenants.

Mr. Genstein is a graduate of Shady Side Academy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis.

Andy Schaer was a guiding force at Ketchum Advertising, one of Pittsburgh’s largest and most reknowned advertising agencies. He then became Senior Vice President of Marketing for PrintCafe Software, one of Pittsburgh’s most successful technology start-ups. Following the successful completion of PrintCafe’s initial public offering (IPO), the company was acquired by Foster City, CA based Electronics For Imaging, Inc.

Following a successful stint with EFI, Andy decided it was time for a new challenge. After teaming up with Jim Genstein, Andy became integral to the successful development of Propel Braddock Hills.

In 2009, Jim and Andy acquired 11.3 acres of ground in Forest Hills, which is ½ of an existing shopping center, and the former site of a 110,000 sq ft Builders Square store. The building had been subdivided into 4 tenant spaces. The first tenant space was renovated and opened in 2010 as a 40,000 sq ft Kindergarten through 8th grade elementary/middle school. In 2010, 45,000 sq ft of the building was developed for a new 400 student 9-12 High School, which opened in August of 2011. In March of 2011 13,000 sq ft was developed and opened as a nationwide fashion retailer. In 2013, this property was sold back to its primary Tenant, Propel Schools and is no longer in the portfolio.

In 2011, Andy and Jim completed another successful charter school development, the Environmental Charter School at Park Place. Built in 1907, the Park Place School was listed on the National Park Service’s Registry of Historic Buildings. The building had been converted to apartments in the mid 1990’s. Jim and Andy acquired the building and converted it back to its original use as a school while maintaining its historic integrity, adding the conveniences and operational efficiencies necessary in today’s modern buildings. For their efforts, Andy and Jim received a Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award from Preservation Pennsylvania.

In 2012, Jim and Andy expanded their Tusk Development portfolio to include three additional buildings, 600 River Avenue, home of Confluence Technologies, LLC on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, a short walk to PNC Park. They also added 810 Penn Avenue, The Penn Building, a 44,100sf multi-tenant office building located in downtown Pittsburgh, in the heart of the city’s Cultural District and Carengie Commons, formerly the headquarters for Levinson Steel, a 24,000sf converted office building.

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Mailing Address:
Tusk Development
520 East Main Street
Suite 210
Carnegie, PA 15106

Phone: 412.489.5398
Email: info@tuskdevelopment.com