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Penguins Granted Extension on Civic Arena Site

Pittsburgh Penguins

In their ongoing effort to develop the site of the former Civic Arena, the Pittsburgh Penguins have received a brief extension to acquire a needed property. 

The Penguins have been working for some time to redevelop the site of Civic Arena, their home from 1967-2010 which was demolished in 2012. At one point, U.S. Steel was slated to construct a new headquarters at the site, but that plan ultimately fell through.

The Penguins have been partnering with the St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar to develop the first phase of a 1,200-unit housing development. As discussion of that plan continues, board members from two agencies–the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) and city Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)–voted on Friday to grant a short extension to the Penguins. By moving the deadline back five days–from October 22 to October 27–the board members gave the Penguins additional time to acquire a portion of the former arena site. More from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

In granting the short extension, officials with both authorities stated it is part of a broader deal they are trying to negotiate to eliminate all or a significant amount of the $15 million in development credits the team received as part of the 2007 agreement to build PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins already have used some of the credits to buy more time to start redeveloping the land. The team also can use the credits to buy parcels they are ready to develop.

“We’re just looking to see in the course of doing this if there’s an opportunity to provide some amendments to the option agreement that would be beneficial to the public,” SEA executive director Mary Conturo said. “Eliminating the credits is something that would be helpful.”

Negotiations are taking place at a time that the team has exhausted the two years’ worth of extensions it was allowed to take under its option agreement with the SEA and URA to develop the first parcel.

Had the extension not been approved, the Penguins could have been required to forfeit a development parcel and see it revert back to the SEA or the URA.  According to the Post-Gazette, the brief extension “will allow for secondary appraisals on the land near Crawford Square that the team and McCormack Baron are eyeing for the start of that construction.”

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