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New Building Coming to Downtown

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The downtown area near Market Square has been transforming with the new PNC headquarters, the Gardens at Market Square, and now a new 92,000 square foot theater will be built by Point Park University.

The Pittsburgh Playhouse will be built between Forbes and Fourth Avenue in between Smithfield and Wood Street.

Half of the $10 million pricetag will be covered by a $5 million state grant.

“I am very pleased that we can invest taxpayer dollars in a way that’s going to have a return on that investment, not only financially with jobs to build, and jobs that will be there after, but also for the entertainment, the plays that will be going on here, the musicals that will be going on here,” said Governor Tom Corbett.

In the first five years of the project, the university plans for the playhouse to create 600 construction jobs, and supplement downtown with $74 million in economic output.

“It will become the heartbeat of downtown Pittsburgh. The new Pittsburgh Playhouse will serve the community by providing a very intriguing venue to celebrate arts education,” said Paul Hennigan, President of Point Park.

Once completed, the Playhouse is expected to create 192 permanent jobs, an extra $1 million in tax generation, an additional 150-300 students at the University, and graduate 60 students each year who will have hands on experience.

The building will be open 24 hours, be environmentally friendly, have three theaters, dressing rooms, rehearsal studios, a technical theater, and a two-story outdoor plaza, and a café.

“All of this activity will serve as a magnet. More than 100,000 patrons are expected to visit the playhouse each year, enjoying nearby attractions in downtown Pittsburgh, and helping to drive their growth. So this project is what you might call a win-win-win proposition,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees at Point Park, Anne Lewis.

Construction is expected to begin within the year.

Jess was accepted as a WESA fellow in the news department in January 2014. The Erie, PA native attends Duquesne University where she has a double major--broadcast journalism and political science. Following her anticipated graduation in May 2015, she plans to enter law school or begin a career in broadcast journalism.
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