PITTSBURGH, PA (May 20, 2020) Mayor William Peduto released the following statement on the vote scheduled for tomorrow by the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) on the take down of the next parcel in the Lower Hill District development plans:
“The plans set for a vote tomorrow not only include a new headquarters for First National Bank but represent an extraordinary $200 million investment in the heart of Pittsburgh that will help brace our local economy in a time of great need.
If approved by the board after a week of deliberation, this will include the monetization of the previously approved LERTA tax abatement and parking tax diversion, which will make available an upfront $11 million to the URA to invest in community-driven housing and economic development initiatives in the greater Hill District.
This funding could be used to support the developments on Centre Avenue of minority businesses and development teams that the URA approved at its February 2020 board meeting. The agreement also takes the next step with the formalization of a First Source Hiring Center to spur workforce development and jobs on-site for Hill District residents, including minority hiring commitments.
This entire site will be providing good paying union construction jobs. The proposed agreement also includes a commitment to long-term career-building jobs on the site to provide Hill District residents with family sustaining wages to rebuild the middle class.
This is in addition to the commitments from the Penguins and BPG with the last parcels taken down, which included an investment in Rec2Tech in the Hill, improved recreation facilities, the completion of the Curtain Call public art installation, and the new Catapult MWBE small business incubator on the Lower Hill site.
Tomorrow’s vote will follow timely votes from the URA, Sports and Exhibition Authority (SEA) and City Council to take down the first parcels, approve a parking tax diversion, provide millions of additional dollars to the Greater Hill's affordable housing needs in the form of a Hill District Housing Reinvestment Account, and begin the take down of this next parcel.
This entire project has been a partnership among the community stakeholders, URA, SEA, the Housing Authority, myself, and the Penguins with the leadership of David Morehouse and Kevin Acklin.
Finally, this entire project has been driven by my clear goals of economic growth, family sustaining jobs, investment in the historic Centre Avenue, investment in affordable housing, workforce development, opportunities for youth, and support for MWBE small businesses in alignment with the Community Collaboration Implementation Plan.
I urge the URA board to approve this critical next step, and move this long-promised development forward.”