The meeting was held between the Buccini/Pollin Group [BPG] and registered community organizations in the Hill District. About 110 online attendees heard discussion of the proposed development of a Live Nation concert venue on the 28-acre former Civic Arena site.

The developers shared plans for the venue but much of the conversation turned to funding for the community. Discussions between the team and neighborhood leadership eager to spread development benefits throughout the Hill have been contentious since at least 2007.


Ikhana Hal-Makina, who said she’s a lifetime resident of the Hill District, said during the public comment portion of the meeting that there should be a $5 surcharge on ticket sales or parking garage tickets, with the funds used to benefit Hill District residents. That concept followed last week’s Hill Community Development Corp. proposal of a smaller surcharge.

Craig Dunham, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ senior vice president, told attendees that the club’s development team “became aware of this in the last 72 hours and they’re putting it up for consideration.”

He continued: “We hear it and we’re trying to understand how it would work. We don’t want to create a competitive disadvantage on parking. It’s already a tight market.” 

Chris Buccini, president of BPG, said the idea comes amid a global pandemic. “Guess how many people are parking there today? Everything we do has to be economically feasible. What bank will lend $50 million to make this happen?”

Bethel AME Pastor Dale Snyder said that a surcharge should be added as a form of reparations. 

“Our neighborhood don’t need these shiny buildings, we need affordable housing,” Snyder said. “If you want to take your millions of dollars and go somewhere else, do that. But if you’re staying, talk to the people.”

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