URA Board Vote Grants Final Approval of Plans for FNB Tower and Public Open Space, Updated LERTA in the Lower Hill Redevelopment
Historic vote sets the stage for redevelopment on the Lower Hill that will provide for additional community benefits in the Middle and Upper Hill District
PITTSBURGH, PA (June 10, 2021) The URA Board of Directors voted to grant final approval of Office Partners XXIII Block G-1 LLC (Office Partners) as a Redeveloper, and the conceptual development plans for F.N.B. Corp.’s new headquarters on Block G-1, and the public open space on Block G-4, of the Lower Hill site at its Special Board Meeting held virtually today at 2 p.m.
The vote advances a long-stalled redevelopment project that brings with it millions of dollars in investment to fund housing and economic development in the Greater Hill District. An Explanation of Community Benefits related to Block G-1 can be found here. The Block G-1 and G-4 projects are projected to create a total of 1,454 direct and indirect construction jobs; Post development job creation is estimated at 2,194.
“Some people may have you believe that today’s vote can somehow overturn the years and years of decisions and legal maneuvering that has led us to this point,” said Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. “But I will simply say that although we didn’t have much to do with setting the parameters of this deal back then, we did have a lot to do with making this a much better deal for our community now by working with our citizens to fight and get the community benefits that were highlighted earlier and by speaking up numerous times regarding the actual term sheet.”
Office Partners, a newly-formed single purpose entity, is a joint venture comprised of the Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc (BPG), Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Redevelopment, LP (PAR), Clay Cove Capital, LLC, and First National Bank (FNB).
- Provides final approval for Office Partners to redevelop Blocks G-1 and G-4
- Provides final approval for the conceptual plan for the Block G-1 site, which includes a 26-story, mixed-use tower with 437,000 square feet of office space, 35,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 108 structured parking spaces; First National Bank will lease 165,000 square feet in the new tower as its headquarters.
- Provides final approval for the conceptual plan for the Block G-4 site, which is envisioned as a series of terraced areas, stepped pathways and a multi-functional central urban green space; It will offer small gathering opportunities and will house retail kiosks.
- Allows SEA to transfer the titles for Blocks G-1 and G-4 to PAR
Total project costs for the Block G-1 project are estimated at $230 million. The building is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification. Office Partners is planning to close on the real estate by June 30. Construction is slated to begin in Q3 2021 and will take 36 months to complete.
Block G-4 will be redeveloped by Office Partners but will be owned by Lower Hill District Conservancy, a Pennsylvania unincorporated association. The Conservancy will be formed for the purpose of owning and maintaining public open space on the Lower Hill site. Members of the Conservancy will consist of all owners and future owners of developed property on the Lower Hill site. Total project costs are estimated at $3.3 million.
“There are still more blocks to take down, there are still more conversations that have to be had about this deal, and other opportunities to see how the developer, the City and the URA can continue to pour investment into the Hill,” said URA board member Lindsay Powell. “I’m appreciative of URA staff and the community members who have been part of this process long before I had the privilege of serving on this board and want to make sure that we continue to uplift and include community voice and input in this process.”
“Going forward we need to ensure that the community gets what they want when it comes to investment and a benefits agreement. I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make this happen so we can see the proper investment as we watch the Hill District developing before us,” said Representative Ed Gainey.
The Board also approved:
- Lower Hill LERTA Retained Amount Guidelines
- Optionee’s Application for Proposed Retained Amount Investments, as submitted to the URA on May 25, 2021, for authorization to utilize the Retained Amount funds for such investments
- Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund Guidelines
“I want to thank the public for the incredible amount of thoughtful input we’ve received every step of the way on this project; thank the Board for the incredible amount of time and attention that’s been put into grappling with these issues; thank Executive Director Flisram and Deputy Executive Director Walker for their leadership; and finally, thank URA staff who have been working on this project for years and put in innumerable hours of attending community meetings and overseeing and ensuring that every detail of this project was accurate,” said URA Board Chair Sam Williamson.
“We will continue to do everything in our power, every step of the way, to ensure that the redevelopment of the Lower Hill actually benefits the Hill District as a whole,” said Williamson.
The entire Special Board Meeting Presentation can be found here. Lower Hill project updates and resources are posted here.
About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA)
The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency, supporting the City’s economic development goals, which are designed to create a city of inclusive opportunity for residents, stakeholders, and communities. The URA is committed to creating more housing that is affordable to the average Pittsburgher; encouraging more entrepreneurship and small business development; promoting inclusive growth and quality job creation; expanding neighborhood and main streets revitalization efforts; and developing a talented workforce that is equipped with the skills of the future.