Pittsburgh's industrial cleanup experience may hold appeal for Amazon

VIDEO: Amazon HQ2 list narrows

City and state leaders hope Pittsburgh’s experience cleaning up and reusing former industrial sites will make it a strong contender for Amazon’s second headquarters.

A site in Hazelwood offers a peek into Pittsburgh’s steel past, but local leaders also see it as a window into the future.

"The titans of industry, they knew where those prime pieces of real estate were, they put steel mills and factories on them. Now we're redeveloping them for commercial use,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Content Continues Below


It's one of many sites that can be redeveloped to help attract Amazon's second headquarters, which is expected to bring billions of dollars in investment and 50,000 jobs.

Patrick McDonnell, Department of Environmental Protection secretary, addressed thousands of people Tuesday at the Brownfields Conference about this issue.

Held at the Convention Center, the conference focuses on revitalizing and repurposing industrial sites for commercial use, something he believes sets Pittsburgh apart.

"There's certainly a lot of opportunity here within Pittsburgh and the region to see a lot of redevelopment to attract some of these robotic and tech companies,” McDonnell said.

It's an opportunity leaders hope will be obvious to Amazon, as well.

"It's an opportunity for us to take really good parcels of land and make them available for development. Amazon does see that and I think Amazon looks at that very favorably,” Fitzgerald said.

There's no timetable on when Amazon will narrow the list to finalist cities, but local leaders don't expect that to happen until early next year.