The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to a tentative deal that gives them additional time to redevelop the former Civic Arena site, in exchange for credits and land.
As part of the 2007 agreement to build a new facility–now known as PPG Paints Arena–the Penguins were granted development rights and $15 million in credits to purchase land at the Civic Arena site. In the period since, efforts to bring development to the site have run into issues, with a plan that called for a new U.S. Steel headquarters falling through several years ago.
In the new tentative agreement, the Penguins will surrender the $15 million in credits and one land parcel. In exchange, the team will now be given until 2020 to develop 6.45 acres of the 28-acre site, and would be required to surrender a portion of parking revenues generated by the site if it fails to meet that goal. While the agreement is pending the approval of the Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Pittsburgh-Allegheny Sports and Exhibition Authority (SEA) boards, officials sounded pleased with the new terms. More from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
The deal also extends the current option agreement by one year, to Oct. 22, 2025. The Penguins will retain the ability to buy two years’ worth of extensions but there will be none beyond that. Even if potential delays relating to public commitments on infrastructure, environmental issues, and a proposed parking garage are taken into account, the deadline for full development can’t go beyond 2028.
“This has been a complex negotiation, and we reached an agreement that makes the option agreement better for the public,” Mayor William Peduto said in announcing the deal.
David Morehouse, the Penguins’ president and CEO, said the agreement will “pave the way for $750 million in private investment that will be truly transformative for Pittsburgh, creating a dynamic development that the region can be proud of — in addition to jobs, small business opportunities, affordable housing and community programs.”
The Penguins secured the development rights to the publicly owned land — and $15 million in credits to help pay for purchases — in the 2007 agreement to build PPG Paints Arena.
So far the team has used about $725,000 in credits — $500,000 to buy the land needed for the hotel built next to the new arena and the rest on extensions — meaning no money came out of its own pocket. Each of the extensions costs $75,000.
URA and SEA would obtain a parcel that would be used for the development of a publicly-funded parking garage. The Penguins have been working with the St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar to develop the first phase of a housing development on the site. In addition, the club is reportedly collaborating with a developer on a destination entertainment project.