MAYOR GAINEY ANNOUNCES LANDMARK DEAL WITH WALNUT CAPITAL ON PROPOSED OAKLAND ZONING
Gainey administration wins key concessions on affordable housing and equitable development
Pittsburgh – Mayor Gainey announced today an agreement with the developer Walnut Capital on the proposed zoning for the Oakland Crossings project. The deal includes narrower and more clearly defined zoning and a public benefits agreement that covers affordable housing, food access, MWBE contracting, and will create 250 good paying union construction jobs.
“From the first day we walked into office I told my team that any development must move us forward on making Pittsburgh more equitable and affordable for everyone,” said Mayor Gainey. “This agreement is the first time a private developer has committed to using the Housing Authority Choice Voucher Program to reach inclusionary zoning requirements in Pittsburgh’s history and will include a new grocery store that will bring much needed options for fresh food to this neighborhood.”
"We thank Mayor Gainey and his hard working team for their leadership,” said Todd Reidbord president of Walnut Capital. “First, they took the time to listen. Then, they raised the bar higher on what's possible, motivating us to roll up our sleeves further and think bigger. We worked together to problem solve innovative ways that ensure the community receives its long-awaited grocery store and that we can build a sustainable, affordable, inclusive mixed-use development that lifts up everyone in the community. Oakland Crossings will be a national model of how this can be done."
Mayor Gainey and his administration have been meeting with residents and stakeholders over the past two months in order to listen about what their priorities are for development in their neighborhood. Through this deliberate process the Mayor was able to ensure that any development is in line with the community goals identified through the Oakland Neighborhood Planning process and with his vision on creating a city for all.
“This agreement shows what can happen when we center the needs of our communities,” said Councilman Bruce Kraus. “This public benefits agreement is the result of listening to residents, students, and small businesses and addresses their concerns around equitable growth for their neighborhood. This deal will help Pittsburgh grow while ensuring fairness and inclusivity for all of us.”
Moving to a phased approach for this project has led to a smaller overall footprint for the zoning, protection of Zulema Park, expanded green space, and ensures that multifamily residential developments will include at least 10% of units at rent that are affordable to households at or below 50% of the area median income for a minimum of 35 years.
“My priority has been to make sure that Pittsburgh remains livable for all of us,” Mayor Gainey Added “But we have to create new opportunities for economic growth, pathways towards prosperity, and inclusive equitable development that helps us keep people here.”
These changes will be on the agenda for the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 8 to be presented for their review and recommendation to City Council.
A copy of the public benefits agreement can be found at http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/redtail/images/17546_combinepdf.pdf