Officials break ground on ‘Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus’


Photo Credit: (MGN Online)

Michael Delehanty, Contributor

PITTSBURGH — Local officials broke ground Thursday on one of Pennsylvania’s newest development sites, which plans to bring hundreds of new jobs and help fuel the regional economy.

Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin joined Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis, and other officials to officially break ground on the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus and launch the airport’s long-range plan for flexible real estate development.

“The economic development potential of the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus is massive,” said Secretary Davin. “It will help attract and retain talent and create a significant number of family-sustaining jobs for workers in the region. And it’s yet another signal to the domestic and international business community that Pittsburgh is open for business.”

The Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus is a 195-acre parcel that will include office space, research and development laboratories, and industrial manufacturing. It will also feature a town mall with restaurants and retail. There is even a long-range plan to connect it to the terminal.

The construction plan is in three phases and includes up to 16-ready sites available by 2023. It will be modeled after the Schiphol development and the Amsterdam International Airport.

“This is a visionary plan for the continued growth of our airport and region that will create hundreds of jobs,” Fitzgerald said. “The airport will collaborate and partner with local and state officials and universities to leverage research and the region’s highly skilled workforce to identify anchor tenants for this premier development site.”

The Innovation Campus has been designated as a licensed World Trade Center site by the World Trade Center Association. It is located within a foreign-trade zone. The designation allows companies to import goods, manufacture products and resell them outside the U.S. and provides relief or exemption of certain duties and tariffs.

“This is an ideal opportunity for any company that wants to establish a global presence in the Pittsburgh region with access to taxiways and runways while realizing the economic benefits of doing business in a foreign-trade zone,” said Cassotis.

The full development of the project is expected to take 10 years, with the construction of the first building beginning in two to three years.

The Airport Innovation Campus and the overall project plan for development at PIT are designated to be flexible to meet the shifting demands of the real estate market through ground leasing opportunities. The site is fully permitted, graded and connected with utilities. There will also be direct access, not only to the airport but to Interstates 576 and 376, all within 20 miles of downtown Pittsburgh.

“Our strategy is about making Pittsburgh an attractive destination for international commerce,” Cassotis said. “It helps the airport increase non-aeronautical revenue which in turn helps keep costs to airlines stable, potentially attracting more air service.”

More information on the development of the site is available on their website.