Members of the URA board and others listen to URA Chairman Kevin Acklin discuss Hays Woods at a board meeting Nov. 9. The yellow section on the displayed map is 89 acres set aside for potential development; the blue portion is 555 acres set aside for parkland. (Photo by Brian Conway/PublicSource)

The Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA] board voted unanimously Thursday to transfer 555 acres of the Hays Woods property to the City of Pittsburgh for the creation of a permanent city park, while retaining about 89 acres of the property for future development.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the city,” said URA Chairman Kevin Acklin, who negotiated the purchase of the entire 660-acre parcel from developer Charles Betters last June for $5 million.

At the time the purchase was announced, the city said Hays Woods would become the largest park in Pittsburgh. With 89 acres reserved for development, it will become the city’s second largest, under Frick Park. Hays Woods lines the south bank of the Monongahela River between South Side and Homestead.

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