Pittsburgh Prepares for Civic Arena Redevelopment

City, county and state dignitaries marked the official construction start of the road and utility work at the site of the now-demolished Civic Arena in the city’s Lower Hill District.

City, county and state dignitaries marked the official groundbreaking of the road and utility work at the site of the now-demolished Civic Arena in the city’s Lower Hill District. The Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Club has master development rights to the entire 28-acre area, where it plans to build a mix of office, residential, hospitality and retail space.

According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the Lower Hill infrastructure project, which would connect downtown to the Hill District, requires an estimated public investment of $61.6 million. An initial $36 million investment will bring a new road connecting the Bedford and Centre avenues across the middle of the site, as well as a portion of a perpendicular second road spanning to Crawford Street.

This first phase of the infrastructure work has been awarded a $15 million state grant through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. It is scheduled to be complete by the summer of 2016 and will pave the way for the construction of the new headquarters for U.S. Steel Corp. Developed by Clayco Realty Group, the upcoming five-story building will be located right across from Consol Energy Center on Centre Avenue.

In the 1960s, the construction of the Civic Arena required the demolition of 1,300 buildings and the displacement of more than 8,000 residents and more than 400 businesses. The redevelopment of the site, which entails an overall private investment of $379 million, is now expected to bring a total of 606,000 square feet of office space, 254,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a 150-room hotel, along with more than 1,100 residential units.

“Fifty years ago, the urban renewal that was done on this site destroyed what was really a nice legacy in a lot of ways. Fifty years later, we’re trying to re-transform this neighborhood and trying to undo some of the problems caused by that urban renewal,” Gov. Tom Wolf said during the ceremony.

Clayco will seek to obtain LEED Silver certification for its new office building, while the Penguins are aiming for a LEED neighborhood ranking for the overall development, which would be a first in the entire state.

Photo credits: www.civicarenaredevelopment.com