LOWER HILL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT - OVERVIEW

The SEA of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (SEA) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) own the site bounded by Centre Avenue to the south, Washington Place to the west, Bedford Avenue to the north and Crawford Avenue to the east. Recognized as a prime regional economic development priority by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and the Allegheny Conference, the site is in Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District and is adjacent to Pittsburgh's Central Business District.

History

The Hill District is one of Pittsburgh's oldest residential neighborhoods and one of the Country's culturally significant African-American neighborhoods, due in large part to its contributions in music (Jazz in particular), literature and sports. As part of the City of Pittsburgh's urban renewal efforts of the late 1950s, the Lower Hill was declared blighted and 95 acres of the Hill District neighborhood were cleared, including 1,300 buildings, 413 businesses and 1,600 families (8,000 people). A new Cultural Center was planned which was to include an opera house, playhouse, art gallery, upscale hotel and apartment buildings. By 1966 the area contained only a new public auditorium (that became known as the Civic Arena), an apartment building and an apartment/ hotel complex. Significant portions of the land were never developed and remained surface parking.

Option Agreement

In September 2007, as part of the Lease negotiations for CONSOL Energy Center, the URA and SEA entered into an Option Agreement pursuant to which the Penguins have development rights to the 28 acres in the Lower Hill that were formerly the site of the Civic Arena. The Penguins are to develop one-tenth of the site each year, for ten years, with the ten years beginning in October 2013 and work to begin in October 2014. The Penguins are undertaking a master planning process for the development of a new high quality, sustainable development with open spaces and residential, commercial, office, and hotel uses that will establish a renewed connection between Downtown Pittsburgh and the Hill District.

Currently, the Penguins' team includes the following: Urban Design Associates, LaQuatra Bonci Associates, Trans Associates Engineering Consultants, Inc., Reed Smith LLP, Jones Lang LaSalle, Dunham reGroup LLC, Sustainable Design (MBE), ABC Consulting (WBE), Dawson Company (MBE) and Mizrahi Inc. (WBE).

The Penguins have chosen McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. as the lead residential developer for the eastern-most portion of the site.

Preliminary Land Development Plan

The master planning process will result in the development of a Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP). The PLDP will be the basis for the creation of a Specially Planned Zoning District for the development site. The PLDP document will include identifying guidelines for plans, street types, building types, signage, lighting and street furniture, open space and landscape standards, systems & network integration (utilities), sustainability goals and objectives, and off-site improvements.

Sustainability Initiatives

The PLDP will incorporate expectations of innovative sustainability initiatives. It is intended that the development, when fully built out, will earn a certification in the LEED for Neighborhood Development (ND) rating system and that most buildings will be LEED certified buildings. The sustainability initiatives for the total project are being guided by a “Sustainability Stakeholder Group” that includes experts in the following fields: Energy (exploring alternative energy and energy-efficient concepts, such as central energy or thermal co-generation facility); Water Management (focusing on integration of sustainable stormwater management techniques to reduce rainwater runoff); Transportation (implementing best practices for vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow); and Materials (identifying sustainable materials for use in the construction of infrastructure and buildings).

Reference Materials

  • Click here to view the 2010 Project Report, Mellon Arena Redevelopment Strategy - Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis by AECOM
  • Click here to view the 2010 Draft Project Report, Mellon Arena Redevelopment Strategy - Market Analysis by ERA / AECOM
  • Click here to view the Line and Grade Submission by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the Design Field View Submission by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the Design Field View Narrative by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the Pre-Final Geotechnical Engineering Report by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the Sewage Facilities Planning Module by Cosmos Technologies, Inc.
  • Click here to view the Phase I Environmental Assessment by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the Environmental Document by Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
  • Click here to view the NEPA Status Letter and Schedule of the Interior Roadway, Exterior Roadway, and Cap by Michael Baker Jr. Inc.
  • Click here to view the Preliminary Land Development Plan by Urban Design Associates, LaQuatra Bonci Associates, and Trans Associates Engineering Consultants, Inc. (file is large and may take time to open)
  • Click here to view the Final Transportation Study by Trans Associates Engineering Consultants, Inc.
  • Click here to view the Technical Appendix to the Final Transportation Study by Trans Associates Engineering Consultants, Inc.
  • Refer to the Lower Hill Development Project - Infrastructure page to view the Phase I-II Archaeological Survey with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approval letter, the City Council Resolution for the consideration of the location of streets, the Sewage Facilities Planning Module approval letter, and Federal Highway Administration road classification approval letter.
  • Click here to view Executed Comprehensive Option Agreement
  • Click here to view Preliminary Land Devlopement Plan (September 19, 2014 submission to Pittsburgh City Planning)
  • Click here to view Specially Planned Zoning District Text (September 19, 2014 submission to Pittburgh City Planning)
  • Click here to view Consolidation and Subdivison Plan of Lower Hill Redevelopment related to infrastructure (September 19, 2014 submission to Pittburgh City Planning)
  • Click here to view the Lower Hill Redevelopment Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan, dated September 11, 2014.

 

Last Updated 9/26/14


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