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Jan. 16, 2013

Preliminary TIF Plan Moves Forward for Pittsburgh’s Largest Riverfront Project

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Urban Redevelopment Authority has initiated a historic tax increment financing (TIF) process for the nearly $1 billion redevelopment of the former LTV Steel site along the Monongahela River in Hazelwood. If approved, the master plan would turn Pittsburgh‘s last major abandoned industrial site into a hub of activity comprised of approximately 2.1 million square feet of high-tech research and office space, as well as more than 1,200 residential units.

Located close to the downtown area, the 178-acre site has sat dormant for 15 years. Almono LP purchased the brownfield property in 2002 for $10 million. The consortium is made up of four local foundations: Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation and McCune Foundation. The Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania is currently managing the property on behalf of the partnership.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the project’s public infrastructure could benefit from as much as $90 million in the form of loans from the foundations. These funds would be repaid over 20 years through a TIF package that must be approved by the Pittsburgh City Council, the Allegheny County Council and the Pittsburgh Public Schools board.

“The development of this site will continue our efforts to connect our neighborhoods to Pittsburgh’s most beautiful natural assets—our riverfronts,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “There has been tremendous neighborhood investment on both sides of the Monongahela River over the last few years, and the much-anticipated transformation of the Hazelwood site will build on this momentum, creating thousands of new jobs and renewing a neighborhood in the process.”

Upon completion, the project is expected to generate over 3,000 jobs and increase annual real estate tax revenue from about $100,000 to $11 million.

Other developments along the Monongahela riverfront that were made possible by TIFs include the $65 million Bridgeside Point II office building, the $13 million South Shore Riverfront Park and the soon-to-be-completed $24.2 million HYATT hotel.

Photo credits: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative

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