URA Board Stands Ready to Deliver Equitable Deal
PITTSBURGH, PA (May 15, 2020) – The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) Board of Directors this morning expressed its disappointment in the announcement the Pittsburgh Penguins made immediately following the regularly scheduled May URA Board meeting. Board voted to briefly delay preliminary approval on Block G1, proposed to be a new headquarters for F.N.B. Corp., and other items related to the Lower Hill Development. Board members requested two weeks to review materials that the development team provided well past the usual deadline.
The Penguins’ statement notes many public benefits that could result from their proposed development on the Lower Hill. Indeed, this development has the potential to result in thousands of family-sustaining jobs; historic commitments to workforce development and MWBE participation; millions of dollars flowing into the Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund; and additional millions for affordable housing initiatives in the Middle and Upper Hill District. However, in order to ensure these commitments are real and concrete, URA staff and board members need to time to review and underwrite the deal.
“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 Board and staff remain committed to advancing Pittsburgh’s economy in a way that leaves no one behind. The URA plans to announce a special board meeting, as early as next week, to finish the delayed business as soon as possible.