Penguins Lay Out New Plans for Former Arena Site

Development to include office space, apartments, restaurants and retail.

Nearly 9 years after the Civic Arena hosted its final Penguins game, the team has unveiled its plans for the former arena site.

Developers and architects are reportedly in place, to convert the 28-acre site to office space, housing, a music venue, a hotel, restaurants and retail locations. The Post-Gazette reports the Penguins have hired a real-estate company and developer, "tasked with jump-starting a development that stalled after U.S. Steel in 2015 backed out of a deal to build a new headquarters there."

The plans also call for four acres of parks and green space, and 20 percent of apartment units will be classified as "affordable housing."

"We think this development will be the center of energy for the region," David Morehouse, Penguins CEO and president, told the Post-Gazette.

The Post-Gazette reports the development is expected to produce more than $750 million in private investment, approximately 7,000 jobs, and $25 million in annual state and local tax revenues.

"We kind of looked at what we were doing and the direction we were going in and that's when [Co-owner Ron Burkle] said, and [Co-owner Mario Lemieux] agreed, 'Let's do something great,'" Morehouse said.

Mayor Bill Peduto is supporting the latest plan for the site, saying in a statement:

"It was worth the time to listen closely to our Hill District partners and get this right. With the help of the Penguins and their development team, we're delivering on promises of new jobs, affordable housing, and a historic reconnection between the Hill and the heart of the Downtown business district."

Gensler has been retained to design the office and commercial structures. Gensler is the same architectural firm that did the Tower at PNC Plaza and Three PNC Plaza Downtown.

The Post-Gazette reports that the Penguins must start development the former arena by October 2020 or forfeit 20 percent of the parking revenue now generated from the site. Morehouse says under the new plans the team should have no trouble meeting the deadline.

Let us know what you think of the new plans for the former arena site, and the impact you think it will have on the downtown community!

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