The shuttered Shop 'n Save store in Centre Heldman Plaza along Centre Avenue in the Hill District in 2019. (Photo by Justin Merriman/PublicSource)

Develop PGH Bulletins: One store, four visions: Hill District residents to score grocery proposals

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 9/20/21: From live seafood to hardware, residents weigh options for Shop ‘n Save site
Two and a half years after the Hill District’s Shop ‘n Save closed, the neighborhood is weighing four pitches from entrepreneurs hoping to occupy the vacant bulk of a shopping plaza at Centre Avenue and Heldman Street. Would-be retailers made markedly different offers to more than 100 participants in a virtual community meeting run by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The URA bought the site in November 2019, after Shop ‘n Save failed, and has pledged to consider results from a neighborhood scoring process before picking a new tenant.

The blast furnace on the Carrie Furnace redevelopment site would not be affected by plans to redevelop 75 of the 168 acres around it. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

August 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Plan emerging to start building on Allegheny County’s big former mill site

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 8/26/21: RIDC to take on redevelopment of Carrie Furnace site in Rankin, Swissvale
A long-quiet former steel mill site may ring with the sounds of construction next year, following a tentative pact between the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County [RAAC] and a nonprofit developer. The RAAC board voted to turn over 75 developable acres of the 168-acre Carrie Furnace site, which spans Rankin and Swissvale, to the Regional Industrial Development Corporation [RIDC]. County Development Director Lance Chimka told the RAAC board that RIDC would promptly start infrastructure work, and then construct two buildings of around 50,000 square feet near the north end of the Rankin Bridge.

The former Croatian Federal Union of America building at 3441 Forbes Ave., in an image provided to the City Planning Commission on July 27, 2021. The University of Pittsburgh seeks to demolish it, but then to rebuild the historic facade.

July 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Pitt brings case for Oakland building’s demolition to commission

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 7/27/21: Facade of former Croatian Federal Union building could be preserved, reused
The University of Pittsburgh’s plans to tear down a longstanding Forbes Avenue building drew no objections from the City Planning Commission at an initial briefing ahead of a hearing and likely September vote. Pitt wants to demolish the former Croatian Federal Union of America building, at 3441 Forbes Avenue. From 1963 on, the building served as the Allegheny County Health Department’s headquarters.

An artist's rendering of a proposed apartment building that developer SomeraRoad wants to build near the Three Rivers Heritage Trail at the Southside Works, submitted to the City Planning Commission for its meeting on June 15, 2021.

June 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Planning Commission approves South Side apartments

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 6/29/21: Planning Commission approves new South Side apartments
The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved the construction of a new 246-unit apartment building in the Southside Works complex, adjacent to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and South Side Marina. 

New York City- and Nashville-based developer SomeraRoad, which has been behind the redevelopment of the Southside Works complex, presented its plan for the 1.8 acre Southside Works Waterfront Apartments on June 15. Some commissioners initially expressed concerns that the structure, which would border a stretch of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, could narrow a path where bicyclists and pedestrians already compete for space. SomeraRoad emphasized the inclusion of a landscape buffer between the proposed seven-story structure and the trail.

Members of the Urban Redevelopment Authority board, URA staff and members of the Buccini/Pollin Group development team discuss proposals for an office tower on the Lower Hill District, as they view an artists rendering during a May 26, 2021 board briefing conducted by Zoom. (Screenshot)

May 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Majority of developer-heavy committee supports transfer of Hill land to Penguins’ team

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 5/26/21: URA hears views of panel on FNB Tower, amid concern over conflicts
Most members of an oversight committee now support the Penguins’ plans to build on the former Civic Arena site, but some Hill District voices questioned the impartiality of that panel in public comments made at an Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA] board briefing. The Penguins and their chosen developer, Buccini/Pollin Group [BPG], want the URA and the Sports & Exhibition Authority boards to vote, on June 10, to transfer to them ownership of around 2.5 acres of Hill District land for a 26-story office tower and community open space. In Wednesday’s non-voting meeting, the URA board heard from several members of the Executive Management Committee [EMC].

Mary Ellen Barber said she has been searching for a suitable apartment in the North Hills, for which the landlord would accept a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher as partial payment, but hasn't been able to find one. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

April 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Housing authorities get help for families hoping to move out of impoverished areas

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other agencies. Check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 4/30/21: Low-income families to get help finding rentals in well-off neighborhoods
The region's two largest public housing authorities have won nearly $4.1 million in federal funds to help families with housing choice (Section 8) vouchers to move to neighborhoods with lower levels of poverty and more opportunity. The Allegheny County Housing Authority and the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will share $4,089,540 and also get a total of 74 additional vouchers, each of which allows a low-income household to rent housing and pay the landlord 30% of their income, with the government covering the rest. Leaders of the authorities said in September that they wanted to use federal funding to recruit new landlords to their voucher programs, ease the apartment hunting and moving processes for families with children, and cover counseling and other measures to help those families to get acclimated to new neighborhoods.

A map showing the area in which October Development is seeking to take on conservatorship of 97 properties, taken from the company's petition filed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

March 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: ‘Hostile takeover’ or ‘best practice’? Attorney explains massive North Side conservatorship bid

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including close coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other important agencies. Please check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 03/30/21: Attorney explains bid for conservatorship of 97 properties
A former City of Pittsburgh attorney who has filed an ambitious conservatorship petition said that it was driven by a developer’s desire to improve a neglected part of the North Side amid slow progress by a community group and government officials. Dan Friedson, who was an assistant city solicitor from 2014 through late 2019, filed a March 5 petition on behalf of East Allegheny-based October Development, seeking conservatorship over 97 properties in and around that neighborhood. Of the properties, 29 are owned by the city, two by the Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA], eight by the Community Association of Spring Garden and East Deutschtown [CASGED] and the rest by an assortment of individuals and apparent businesses or nonprofit entities.

Ebony Long, 35, of Perry North sits on the staircase of the rental house from which her landlord is trying to evict her. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

February 2021 Develop PGH Bulletins: Pittsburgh City Council votes to limit evictions, over landlord objections

Develop PGH Bulletins updates you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including close coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other important agencies. Please check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 2/24/21: New eviction rules in Pittsburgh clear first vote
Pittsburgh City Council took an initial step toward adding a new set of hurdles to eviction but will likely spend the coming days weighing possible amendments to further protect tenants. Council voted, without dissent, for legislation that would:

Largely bar any landlord action from evicting tenants, within the city, who are behind on rent due to loss of employment or medical expenses
Bar landlords from terminating tenants’ leases or refusing to renew them
Carve out exceptions if a tenant is engaged in criminal activity or presents an “imminent threat” to the health or safety of other residents, or violates building codes or health ordinances
Fine landlords as much as $10,000 for violations
Expire either when the city lifts its current disaster declaration or council terminates the protections. The vote came after lengthy discussion about proposed amendments that could:

Explicitly extend protections to tenants who are defendants in eviction cases that are already pending in court
More clearly bar evictions except for “good cause,” which would not include expirations of leases
Give the city Commission on Human Relations a role in enforcement.