The Hill District Community Development Corp, has dropped its planning commission challenge to plans for the 28-acre former Civic Arena site allowing the $440 million development to go forward.
Mayor Bill Peduto announced the agreement in a press statement released Jan. 19.
“We are committed to a implementing a transformational development on the lower Hill District site that rebuilds the middle and upper Hill District,” he said. “When I took office last January, I committed to having an open door policy for my administration, and this agreement proves that. Everyone will have the opportunity to have a seat at the table.”
According to the 28-page agreement, the Hill CDC “shall not directly or indirectly interfere with, or seek to impose any conditions or amendments” on the creation of the special planning district—originally agreed to in the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan sign in November—and the US Steel headquarters development plan.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald commended everyone who worked on the agreement.
“I’m very proud of the continued work on this project, and finding middle ground when it comes to the needs of the community,” he said. “Congressman Doyle, State Senators Costa and Fontana, Mayor Peduto and the mayor’s staff, particularly Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin, should be commended for their continued efforts and work to resolve the issue.”
In exchange for the CDC dropping its challenge, Peduto pledged to create a citywide affordable housing task force comprised of city, county, state, federal and community leaders. City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle will introduce the enabling legislation to city council. An executive community created under the CCIP agreement will appoint an independent consultant to help implement the community collaboration plan, and issue progress reports to the task force.
Marimba Milliones, Hill CDC president and CEO could not be reached for comment. Jonathan Kamin, attorney for the CDC said the deal is a win for the Hill District, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the city.
Penguins COO Travis Williams agreed, saying the team is committed to continuing to work with the community.
“Nothing has changed,” he said.
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