Gove Business Center was founded as a center for entrepreneurial energy, creativity and growth. The physical layout of the building provides private work areas for each tenant as well as significant common space for networking, small seminars and collaborative work efforts. The mood of the center is enthusiastic, instructive and supportive.
Some tenants choose to work independently at all times. Others become professional allies and work on projects that meld their skills with other professionals in the building. All tenants care about the professional well-being of one another.
The building at 226 Paul Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was built in 1939. It is 8,200 square feet of brick and concrete. Its charm is in the beautiful mahogany woodwork and French doors. Its lot is level, wooded, and very serene. It is located in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh, primarily a residential area only minutes from downtown.
The building was originally built as a convent by St. Justins Catholic Church Parish to house the Sisters of Mercy. The nuns were teachers in the St. Justin elementary and secondary schools. The building is typical of a convent. It had a small chapel, an office, a room in which music lessons were given, a brightly lit community room, a dining room, a large kitchen, and 22 "cells" (bedrooms). The building was used as a convent for about 40 years. When the schools closed, the nuns moved back to their mother-house in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The next tenant of the building was the Allegheny County Mental Health / Mental Retardation services. The building was used as a center to educate and provided counseling services to clients who needed to learn basic life skills. The County used the building for about 10 years.
From approximately 1988-1998, the building stood empty and the parish council debated what to do with the building. Because the church, the parish house, the former high school (now converted to Just-Inn, a senior care center), and the convent shared the same lot, the decision to sell the building was very carefully considered by the parishioners. They decided that the building should only be sold to some who would use it in a way that would not interfere with their operations. On a Sunday afternoon in early March, 1998, the Parish Council agreed to list the building for sale with longtime parishioner, Guy Galasso.
Coincidentally, at about the same time the Council took its vote, Susan Gove was searching the real estate section of the newspaper. She was looking for a Victorian home in Mt. Washington that she could convert to office space. She saw an ad by Galasso Real Estate Company and decided to call first thing Monday morning.
Gove called Galasso at 9:00 AM Monday morning and told him that she was looking for a Victorian to convert to offices. He told her, "I dont have any Victorians, but I just listed a convent yesterday. Would you be interested in looking at it?" Gove was curious and set out to see the convent.
The building had been vacant for 10 years. The roof had been leaking, and the windows were 60 years old. But, as soon as Gove set foot in the building, she knew it would be perfect office space. She inspected the entire building and immediately told Galasso she wanted to buy it!
The final sales agreement was signed on October 28, 1998. Gove had full crews of workers at the building the very ext day. A new roof, 58 new windows, all new electrical wiring, all new plumbing, carpentry, plastering, cleaning, painting, new carpeting and furnishings were accomplished in seven weeks. Gove and her staff moved in over the Christmas holidays.