PITTSBURGH - Developers broke ground Monday on the first phase of a project that will transform Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District.
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Gov. Tom Wolf joined local leaders, including Mayor Bill Peduto, Councilman Daniel Lavelle and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, at the site of the old Civic Arena for the ceremony.
New drawings were revealed of what the 28-acre site will look like when it is complete.
The $440 million project will bring a mix of business, entertainment and residences while being anchored by U.S. Steel’s new headquarters, which is expected to be complete in fall of 2017.
“Today, we stand here and we build community, and we do it in a way every other city wishes they had the opportunity to do,” said Peduto.
On the same site in the 1950s, 1,300 buildings were demolished and 8,000 people relocated to make room for the construction of the arena.
“Fifty years later, we are trying to re-transform that area, this area, and this neighborhood and trying to undo some of the problems that we caused by that urban renewal 5 years ago,” said Wolf.
Residents of the Hill District are hopeful that this new development will serve as a gateway to reconnect them to the city.
“Making sure that the wealth, building is included for residents and opportunities for business and development opportunities. For minority businesses, I think we can make this the type of development the world will be impressed by,” said Marimba Milliones, Hill District resident.
Local leaders agree that the development will bring more than just new buildings and additional space.
“Today really does mark the beginning for the social and physical resurrection for the Hill District community,” said Lavelle.