Board chair Kevin Acklin said the vote wasn’t a referendum on the Penguins, but for an action that would be needed regardless of ownership.
He said the Penguins are making progress. And though the team has paid $225,000 for extensions to the development timeline for the residential portion of the development, some of the delay is due to factors it doesn’t control, such as the lost of anchor tenant U.S. Steel, a complaint about the development’s percentage of low-income units filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the more detailed environmental analysis.
“I’ve seen the commitment by this team,” he said. “We’re not there yet. It’s a large site and there are a lot of complexities to it. But we have been working diligently with the community and the Penguins to advance development.”
Lavelle said the deal had to be made.
“If we don’t front the money, there’s no guarantee the site ever gets done,” he said.
The remaining votes at the Dec. 8 meeting were far less contentious. The board authorized several actions needed to apply for tax credits and to float a bond to finance the construction of 65 mixed-income housing units for the $25 million first phase of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Dwellings community.
The board also approved receipt of a $1 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant awarded to Bridgeway Capital for use in its continued build out of custom leased space for artist, tradesmen and light manufacturing in the former Westinghouse building at 7800 Susquehanna St., in Homewood.
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