(PITTSBURGH) May 2, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today, joined by elected officials, development stakeholders and community partners, celebrated the official opening of Pittsburgh’s newest Riverfront attraction and urban playground - the South Shore Riverfront Park. Located at the SouthSide Works between the 25th-29th Streets, the 3.2-acre, $13 million public park has transformed the former LTV steel site into a key link within Pittsburgh’s beautiful trail system.
"The world-class South Shore Riverfront Park has reclaimed this former industrial site, and now offers City residents and visitors an experience unlike any other in Pittsburgh,” said Ravenstahl. "The amenities of the park, combined with its proximity to the SouthSide Works retail complex, will repurpose Pittsburgh’s riverfronts - inviting thousands of boaters to our shores and setting the standard for future riverfront development around the country. The full economic impact of SouthSide Works will now be realized through this park.”
Along with access to great shopping and dining, park amenities include a 1,000-seat amphitheater (2,000 people standing), hiking and biking trail access, and unique features like a water fountain for dogs and historic relics of Pittsburgh’s industrial past. The park is located on the site of the former Jones & Laughlin Company steel mill, which once defined Pittsburgh. This 140-year history has been incorporated into the park’s design with historical artifacts and interpretive signage. South Shore Riverfront Park also connects the Hot Metal Pedestrian Bridge, Three Rivers Heritage Trail system and Great Allegheny Passage.
“We are thrilled that this important piece of Pittsburgh’s riverfront park system is finally in place,” said Lisa Schroeder, Riverlife president & CEO. “For generations, access to the Monongahela River at the South Shore Riverfront Park site has been a challenge. The new park offers visitors an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the river up close, while also creating a vital link in Three Rivers Park, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and Great Allegheny Passage. South Shore Riverfront Park will be a premiere spot for outdoor recreation and relaxation, the type of place that continues to define Pittsburgh as a world-class river city.”
The new park will eventually provide access to the river for recreation, entertainment, a private marina, water taxi service and public docking for recreational boating. The next phase, "River Landing," is currently out to bid and a spring 2013 completion is anticipated.
A permanent boat dock facility to accommodate 17 transient recreational vessels will be constructed and will enable boaters to access the park, the $400 million SouthSide Works development and the South Side neighborhood.
"Construction of the tie-up facility will complete a true multi-modal hub," Robert Rubinstein, URA acting executive director said. "This unique development will now be accessible by boat, bus, bike, car and foot."
Funding from both public ($10,650,000) and private ($2,683,000) sources were used for the development of the park. Funding breakdown.
"This park demonstrates what is best about our development and is a culmination of our original plan: a Live, Work and Play community; a place where everyone is welcome to enjoy one of the City's greatest assets, the rivers," said James Lee Soffer, vice president, The Soffer Organization.
Residents are encouraged to attend a special event to celebrate the grand opening of the park and amphitheater on Thursday, May 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Hosted by Cindy Howes, WYEP Morning Mix host and producer, the free, family-friendly event will feature live music, kid-friendly arts and crafts courtesy of the City’s Roving Art Cart, light snacks and drinks provided by Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh, bike valet provided by Bike Pittsburgh, and much more. View the invitation here.
Today, on the 34-acre SouthSide Works site developed by The Soffer Organization, more than 2,000 jobs have been created, and many retailers new to the Pittsburgh market have been attracted, as well as several technology companies, and the America Eagle Outfitters World Headquarters. At full build-out, SouthSide Works will provide 5,600 jobs and over 400 housing units.
South Shore Riverfront Park was designed by Environmental Planning and Design and Lennon Smith Souleret Engineers. Construction was completed by A. Liberoni, Inc., Allison Park Contractors, Inc., Carl Walker Construction Co. and Brayman Construction Corp.
The South Shore Riverfront Park has been made possible with funding support from: The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Honorable Edward Rendell, Governor, Honorable Tom Corbett, Governor; American Eagle Outfitters; Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Friends of the Riverfront; The Heinz Endowments,; NiSource Charitable Foundation/Columbia Gas; Federal Highway Administration Transportation Enhancement Program administered by
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Laurel Foundation; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Assistance in Sport Fish Restoration Program; Richard King Mellon Foundation; Riverlife, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area; The Soffer Organization; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Anonymous; and Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Tax Increment Financing was also approved for this project by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Pittsburgh Public Schools. Strong support for the project was also provided by U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle, State Senator Jay Costa, State Representative Jake Wheatley and City Councilman Bruce Kraus.