(PITTSBURGH) August 20, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today joined Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Acting Asst. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine and developers Walnut Capital and the RCG Longview Fund, to announce that the City has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the construction of public infrastructure at the $120 million Bakery Square 2.0 development. The grant will help fund the public amenities necessary to construct 400,000 square feet of office and high-tech lab space on the site of the former Reizenstein School.
"I am extremely grateful to President Obama and the Economic Development Administration for their support of this great project that will create much needed high-tech office space to support the growth of our innovation economy," Ravenstahl said. "With this grant, we will advance the successful development of Bakery Square to create thousands of more jobs."
Bakery Square 2.0 will provide much needed office space for growing tenants like Google, UPMC, Veterans Administration, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. Companies looking for space in the near future will also be accommodated, since the Oakland / University / Medical Center office market has the lowest vacancy rates in the region and the most exponential growth rate. Bakery Square 2.0 will further connect the neighborhoods of East Liberty and Larimer that are seeing a combined total of $440 million in new development either completed or underway.
"This federal grant will help provide the public infrastructure necessary for the second phase of the Bakery Square redevelopment, which has brought new life to the old Nabisco bakery site," Congressman Doyle said today at the press conference announcing the award. "Bakery Square has been a great example of a successful public-private partnership to redevelop and re-purpose an old industrial site and revitalize a distressed community. Bakery Square 2.0 will build on the original project's success and create more office and lab space for Google, UPMC, other current tenants, and new tenants from local universities and medical centers."
The grant will be matched by funds provided by Walnut Capital, the RCG Longview Fund and the Pennsylvania Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund. City Council recently passed legislation allowing the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW) to sign on as a co-applicant with the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), and the URA to act as the City’s agent for administration throughout the funding process. The URA will work with DPW to construct the streets and associated public infrastructure, such as street lighting, curbing and storm, sanitary and water facilities, which will ultimately be dedicated to the City.
Following the press conference, Mayor Ravenstahl and Todd Reidbord, president of Walnut Capital, will lead Acting Asst. Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Erskine on a tour of the Bakery Square facilities
“The growth potential of Pittsburgh’s new technology economy is unparalleled in this market," said Todd Reidbord, president, Walnut Capital. “By drawing on the strengths of our universities, institutions and high tech partners, we are able to extend this growth into the communities of Shadyside, Larimer and East Liberty. We are grateful to the Economic Development Administration for this grant that will allow for us to provide this much needed space to help grow Pittsburgh’s high tech economy and neighborhoods.”
Monday, August 20, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687