Over $7.1 million added to reinvestment fund for community investments in the Middle and Upper Hill District


Bridges and buildings in Downtown Pittsburgh reflect off the city’s mirror-like rivers on an early spring morning. Photo Date: March 29, 2019 Photo Credit: (RMU Sentry Media/Gage Goulding) Photo credit: Gage Goulding

PITTSBURGH – The Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund has received an initial capitalized payment of over $7.1 million development partners on the Lower Hill development site.

The announcement was made by the City of Pittsburgh, City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, Pittsburgh Penguins, Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh on Sept. 20.

The funding is allotted for needs in the Greater Hill District as outlined in what the neighborhood and developers named the Community and Collaboration and Implementation Plan. These plans include development projects and necessities for the community.

Mayor Bill Peduto discussed the development payment.

“I am grateful that we are not only seeing the development in the Lower Hill move forward to right the wrongs of the past and create opportunities in the historic Hill District but that our development partners are demonstrating their commitment to the Hill community by providing community investment funding upfront,” Peduto said. “I’d like to thank all of the partners in this development and the Hill District community for creating a model where communities and developers can work together to help ensure the community benefits and drives investment in their neighborhood from these developments.”

The URA approved the guidelines in June and the developers agreed to pay all ten years of funding upfront rather than overtime in order to fund the construction project. The developers are a joint venture consisting of the Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc (BPG), Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Redevelopment, LP (PAR), Clay Cove Capital, LLC, and First National Bank (FNB).

“We are excited to have delivered on our promise of the first installment of $7.2 million toward the Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund. The monetization of LERTA monies from the FNB Financial Center symbolizes our commitment to ensure that catalytic, Lower Hill projects are delivered with the intent of having a lasting impact in the Middle and Upper Hill District,” Said Bomani M. Howze, Vice President of Development for the Buccini/Pollin Group.

The Lower Hill Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) district, led by Councilman Lavelle and the Hill Community Development Corporation raised the over $7 million that was used for the community in 2015. The LERTA allows property owners to use a portion of their tax money in order to fund the Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund.

“The advancement of the LERTA dollars is in keeping with the commitment that I made to the Hill District Community: that the development of the Lower Hill would be for the explicit benefit of residents of the Middle and Upper Hill District,” said councilman Lavelle.

The funding could potentially be used for project development initiatives and counseling programs, children and youth education initiatives, rent and mortgage assistance subsidies, other wealth-building initiatives and preservation of Hill District institutions and investments that generate recurring or matching revenue for the fund.

“I am thankful and encouraged by the development team’s investment up front to the community. The URA is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the Lower Hill redevelopment reflects the wants and needs of the community and benefits all the residents of the Hill District.” Said URA Deputy Executive Director Dr. Diamonte Walker.

A community advisory board will continue to review applications for funding and will issue recommendations to the URA Board of Directors who govern the fund. Representatives from City Council 6 and the Hill Community Development Corporation are currently recognized as co-chairs of the advisory board.