Pittsburgh City Council gives update on Second Avenue Commons after major fire

PITTSBURGH — From the outside, there’s not much to see, but inside Second Avenue Commons, the destruction still stands after a major fire last week.


“I think really they are still assessing the damages there, not quite sure when folks will be able to reenter. Certainly, the top two floors are going to be lengthier,” said Councilman Anthony Coghill.

>> Nearly 200 people displaced due to fire at Second Avenue Commons

On Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council members made the first step towards trying to speed up the process. By declaring a disaster declaration, things will go faster to get the shelter fixed and back open fully by December.

“There are people waiting on permits, operational things they have to do, this will cut all the red tape to make this a much more expedient process,” Coghill said.

The severe damage has left over 100 residents in a holding pattern. While they were allowed back in for personal belongings, the Convention Center is only a temporary home as the county works to find other shelters to place them in.

Meanwhile, the city is getting some extra monetary support.

“PNC has put up $1.1 million to help the process over there speedy,” Coghill said.

Coghill said this upfront money will help get things moving, but if they can’t finish before the end of the year, they will have to extend.

“We do hope, and we do feel secure it will be operational by then the entire building but no way of saying that. If it’s not by December and end of the declaration we will just have to extend the declaration,” Coghill said.

The declaration will get the preliminary vote out of the committee on Wednesday with the final vote next Tuesday to get the ball rolling.

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