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City board green lights former Civic Arena site redevelopment

PITTSBURGH — The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh board voted to start the redevelopment on the former Civic Arena site in Pittsburgh's Lower Hill neighborhood.

The board approved all eight items and granted the Pittsburgh Penguins' development team to start two projects on the site.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Penguins, city reach agreement on Lower Hill District affordable housing

Several steps remain in the process, but this is the first significant movement on that development since it was agreed upon between the city and the Penguins 15 years ago.

The plan for the site is projected to total more than $1 billion in a new mixed-use designation. The first two projects include a parking garage and live music venue and a first phase apartment project, totaling 288 units.

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The project is expected to include 58 units affordable to residents with incomes of $28,000 a year, or at 50 percent area median income, a project subject to receiving low income tax credits.

"It's the first time in 15 years we're actually advancing development of two parcels in the Lower Hill. We're doing it in a way that will create tangible benefits for the entire city and the greater Hill District," URA Chairman Sam Williamson said.

Here is a before and after look of what the former Civic Arena site could look like in the future:

Here's a look at the area before the Civic Arena and a recent shot from Chopper 11: