August Wilson Center To Be Sold To Foundations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dollar Bank and the court-appointed receiver for the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture struck a deal on Monday to sell the embattled Downtown cultural center to a coalition of foundations for $8.85 million.

The agreement nixes the proposed $9.5 million sale of the center to New York-based 980 Liberty Partners, a developer that wanted to build a 200-room luxury hotel atop the existing two stories and share space with the center.

The surprise announcement shortly before noon in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court halted what was supposed to be a two- to three-day trial over deed terms before it began. It marked a shift in course for court-appointed receiver Judith K. Fitzgerald, who had previously urged the judge to approve the sale to 980.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6866840-74/million-center-court#ixzz3Ej4UAIHV
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Pittsburgh Councilwoman Deb Gross Proposes Land Bank

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Deb Gross is proposing the creation of a land bank for the city of Pittsburgh, a mechanism that could streamline the process of redeveloping tax-delinquent land.

Ms. Gross today introduced a bill today creating the legal framework for the land bank, which would be an entity separate from the city. The legislation is a work in progress because Ms. Gross wants to get community input on many of the program’s details.

In 2012, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed the State Land Bank Act, which allowed for the creation of land banks. Since the passage of the law, Westmoreland County, Dauphin County and Philadelphia have created land banks.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/01/14/Pittsburgh-councilwoman-Deb-Gross-proposes-land-bank/stories/2014011401450000000#ixzz2qQ6pSLFH

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3 Pittsburgh Construction Projects Hang In The Balance in 2014

Mellon Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Mellon Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year could be a pivotal one in the development of the former Civic Arena site in the lower Hill District, the LTV Coke Works in Hazelwood and the Strip District produce terminal.

Both the arena redevelopment and the Buncher Co.’s plans for the produce terminal not only have the potential to generate drama but could pose the first development-related challenges for Mayor-elect Bill Peduto, who takes office Monday.

Nearly two years after the Civic Arena came down, 2014 could bring the first wave of new development to the site, which is considered among the most valuable pieces of real estate in the region.

But there’s a potential fight brewing.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/01/03/3-city-construction-projects-hang-in-the-balance-in-2014/stories/201401030104#ixzz2pMlbpeNL

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Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority Approves Hazelwood Tax Increment Financing Plans

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board got the ball rolling Thursday for the largest piece of tax increment financing in the city’s history — an $80 million to $90 million package that would fund roads, utilities, parks and other public improvements for a proposed $900 million office and residential development in Hazelwood.

While URA board members unanimously approved preliminary plans for the funding in Hazelwood, some members criticized city council for holding up a $50 million TIF for a proposed $400 million to $500 million Buncher Co. development in the Strip District and wondered whether the Hazelwood package would suffer a similar fate.

The TIF must be approved by the city, the Pittsburgh Public Schools and Allegheny County.

“This is the beginning of a very long process,” said URA board member Jim Ferlo, a Democratic state senator from Highland Park.  “There are going to be a lot of hurdles, if not some significant roadblocks.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/ura-approves-hazelwood-tif-plans-669989/#ixzz2Hgyhruih

PMC Property Group Acquiring Fifth Downtown Pittsburgh Site

A Philadelphia developer is poised to grab yet another property Downtown, its fifth in the last two years.

PMC Property Group has signed a sales agreement with Alco Parking president Merrill Stabile to buy the Jackman Building at 526 Penn Ave. next to the Penn and Sixth Street parking garage in the Cultural District.

The 10-story building has been largely vacant since the Art Institute of Pittsburgh moved out a decade ago.  The first floor houses a Subway sandwich shop and Quest Diagnostics.  Floors 2 through 10 are empty.

Mr. Stabile said PMC plans to convert the upper floors into apartments, just as it has done or plans to do with several of the other buildings it has acquired.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pmc-property-group-acquiring-fifth-downtown-pittsburgh-site-650827/#ixzz24sRq3tyQ