Big Changes Coming To Lower Hill District

Big changes are coming to Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District.

Video Transcript

KEN RICE: Big changes are coming to Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District. The city Planning Commission approved the first phase of development that includes a 26 story tower. Pam Surano's live with a look at what's going to be rising near PPG Paints Arena. Pam?

PAM SURANO: Ken, it's construction with a dream of urban redevelopment on a very large scale, something the Penguins have really been working on for a long time. Now, it started with the construction of a park not far from here over Interstate 579, and it will continue right here on the site of the former Civic Arena.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and a Delaware based development group have worked for years to make the dream of urban redevelopment here come true. Tonight, phase one was approved by the city's Planning Commission for a 26 story First National Bank financial center. The Pens and partners want to transform this 28 acre site and the FNB tower with its office and retail space. It's the beginning of an expansion to include the Middle and Upper Hill.

The Pens hold the development rights to the publicly owned site. And while their dreams also include a large parking garage and Live Nation venue, the bigger dream is to create investments in housing, jobs, scholarship opportunities, and help for minority owned businesses. The Hill Community Development Corporation has been pushing for more than just temporary construction jobs, but a total transformation of the community, which they say has been needed for decades.

Now, we reached out to the community group tonight because they wanted to see housing come before a large office space. But the Penguins say that FNB tower needed to come first in order to make all the next steps happen. And construction could begin as early as this summer. We're live in the Lower Hill District tonight, Pam Surano, KDKA News.

KEN RICE: Thanks, Pam.