PRESS RELEASES

Mayor Peduto, Councilman Lavelle and URA to Catalyze Investments in the Lower and Greater Hill District

PITTSBURGH, PA (October 9, 2019) The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh will make a series of votes tomorrow to catalyze investments in the Lower and Greater Hill District that will have a meaningful impact on Hill District residents and future generations. 

After numerous community conversations, community briefings and outreach events, the URA board heard the priorities as communicated by the Hill District to be the availability of affordable housing on the site, access to well-paying jobs, preservation of the Hill's cultural legacy, and early investments in the Greater Hill as the development in the Lower Hill begins.

The Hill District community had previously reached a Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which has development rights to the Lower 28-acre site. Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, Mayor William Peduto and URA officials wanted to see even more in the agreement directed to ensuring the work would be a development beneficial to all, and with less burden on the public to build a multimillion parking garage on the site. 

As a result, a new agreement with the Penguins will advance a parking garage mixed-use development that includes greater levels of affordable housing.  

Affordable housing will use project-based vouchers from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and guarantee deeper affordability for a longer term than under the CCIP, making 20% of the units available to residents at 50-60% Area Median Income (AMI) for 20 years. The housing will be developed with Intergen, a local minority development partner from the Hill District. 

“These new plans contain commitments that are beneficial to all, including support of local small businesses, affordable housing and workforce development. It delivers on our promises of bringing equity and inclusivity to this historic site, and I thank all those in the Hill District community for bringing us to this day,” Mayor Peduto said.

"This is really an exciting step forward. If you go back over the history of this project, the first effort was the One Hill CBA, followed by the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan, which we're still pushing forward to this day," said Councilman Lavelle, who is also a URA board member. "Now we have the opportunity to provide even more benefits on top of those two agreements that the community can begin to realize immediately."

“As a lifelong Hill District resident, I am excited to see us take an important next step towards capitalizing the Greater Hill District Reinvestment Fund, which has the ability to unlock generational wealth building opportunities for long-standing Hill District residents,” URA Deputy Director Diamonte Walker said. “The Hill District is a vibrant, self-determining community and the board’s vote will signal a commitment to investing in the neighborhood to help it reach its fullest potential.” 

Furthermore, under the new agreement: 

  • The Penguins and their partners will capitalize the Greater Hill District Reinvestment Fund. The Hill District community will be instrumental in determining the prioritized investments to be made by the Fund. 
  • The Penguins and their partners will provide space in the development for 29 years for the Catapult minority business incubation space and will further fund the program. Catapult is an entrepreneur-in-residence program that will allow Hill District businesses the opportunity to have space in the retail component of the Lower Hill.
  • The Penguins and their partners will work with Partner4Work to locate a First Source center on the site and utilize intro to the trades programs as well as meeting all existing union and workforce development commitments in the CCIP. 
  • The Penguins and their partners will redevelop the basketball court, playground and recreation space at Ammon Rec Center on Bedford Avenue. 
  • The Penguins and their partners will redevelop a computer lab space at Ammon Rec Center to allow for Rec2Tech programming.  
  • The Penguins and their partners will finish the Curtain Call project, preserving the cultural legacy of the Hill District and the importance of ensuring those stories are honored and remembered. 
  • The Penguins and their partners will provide the City with a new EMS/Rescue station within the parking garage that will allow the City to make a much needed move out of its current space on the Boulevard of the Allies, saving the City millions of dollars in needed reconstruction costs. 

The City, URA and Sports & Exhibition Authority have agreed to advance: 

  • A 75% parking tax diversion plan for City Council consideration and adoption to be applied to development costs 
  • A $1 million affordable housing grant 
  • A $3 million investment in support of parking garage construction 
  • Onsite Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) abatements to be used on the development for taxing body consideration and adoption

The URA board will make seven different votes regarding the Lower and Greater Hill plans at its regularly scheduled 2 p.m. monthly board meeting tomorrow. 

Contacts:

Timothy McNulty, Communications Director, City of Pittsburgh, 412.660.1999 or timothy.mcnulty@pittsburghpa.gov

Gigi Saladna, Chief Communications Officer, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, 412.255.6434 or gsaladna@ura.org

 

Published

10.09.2019

Contacts