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Penguins pull out of plans to develop former Civic Arena site in Lower Hill District

Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff says a deal for a major redevelopment project at the old Civic Arena site is not off the table.Chief of Staff Dan Gilman said he’s hopeful that a deal can still be hammered out, even after the Pittsburgh Penguins said Thursday night that they would be pulling out.”At this point, given the current economic conditions and the apparent lack of support from the URA, we are ceasing our development operations on the Lower Hill,” Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse said, in part, in a written statement.”I have talked to the Penguins — not only last night and this morning, but since that statement through the night — and tried to reassure them that we are committed to this deal and getting it done,” Gilman told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 on Thursday night.The Penguins’ decision came after the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority delayed a key vote on land for a planned First National Bank tower, Gilman said.He said URA members didn’t feel they had enough time to review paperwork beforehand.The 24-story building would have become the new headquarters of FNB.The project would have generated more than 1,300 construction jobs and transformed the city’s Lower Hill District.Read the statement from the URA below:“Despite broad support for the general concept, both from the URA and the Greater Hill District community, it’s a matter of public record that the development team knew in April that much more work was needed to solidify details on commitments made to the public in previous agreements,” said Board member Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. “The minimum turnaround time usually requested is five business days.”“This is truly a transformative development, worthy of public support, and so it should also be strong enough to withstand a short delay for review,” said URA Executive Director Greg Flisram. “We know that we can achieve development goals while also realizing tangible community benefits; at today’s URA, we understand those are complementary, not competing, goals.”The URA plans to announce a special board meeting, as early as next week, to finish the delayed business as soon as possible.

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PITTSBURGH —

Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff says a deal for a major redevelopment project at the old Civic Arena site is not off the table.

Chief of Staff Dan Gilman said he’s hopeful that a deal can still be hammered out, even after the Pittsburgh Penguins said Thursday night that they would be pulling out.

“At this point, given the current economic conditions and the apparent lack of support from the URA, we are ceasing our development operations on the Lower Hill,” Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse said, in part, in a written statement.

“I have talked to the Penguins — not only last night and this morning, but since that statement through the night — and tried to reassure them that we are committed to this deal and getting it done,” Gilman told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 on Thursday night.

The Penguins’ decision came after the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority delayed a key vote on land for a planned First National Bank tower, Gilman said.

He said URA members didn’t feel they had enough time to review paperwork beforehand.

The 24-story building would have become the new headquarters of FNB.

The project would have generated more than 1,300 construction jobs and transformed the city’s Lower Hill District.

Read the statement from the URA below:

“Despite broad support for the general concept, both from the URA and the Greater Hill District community, it’s a matter of public record that the development team knew in April that much more work was needed to solidify details on commitments made to the public in previous agreements,” said Board member Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. “The minimum turnaround time usually requested is five business days.”

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“This is truly a transformative development, worthy of public support, and so it should also be strong enough to withstand a short delay for review,” said URA Executive Director Greg Flisram. “We know that we can achieve development goals while also realizing tangible community benefits; at today’s URA, we understand those are complementary, not competing, goals.”

The URA plans to announce a special board meeting, as early as next week, to finish the delayed business as soon as possible.

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