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Politics & Government

Gilman: Community Space Still Priority For Hunt Armory

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA

The city is moving forward after the plan to turn the former Hunt Armory in Shadyside into an indoor ice rink was withdrawn this week.

The developer, Krasta Properties, said bank lenders declined to invest in the facility after it couldn’t secure leases with any health care companies for sports medicine ventures.  

City Councilman Dan Gilman said there are still plenty of development options for the building, which takes up an entire city block in Shadyside.

“We are still very interested whether it’s hockey or another recreation, kind of, community asset," he said. "Those are our first choices and what we want to see. The community spoke very clearly, and I agreed with them, about the need for more assets like this in our neighborhoods.”

Krasta has also built ice rinks in Harmar and Bethel Park.

Gilman said the Shadyside project was projected to be much more expensive, though.

“It’s not as simple as building a from-start in the suburban area," he said. "This is taking a historic building, it had a lot of historic preservation. You had to pour a whole new floor in order to get parking on the first floor. It was a very expensive deal.”

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority approved the plan with the stipulation that the developer had to purchase the building for $1.86 million and couldn’t use public subsidies.

Other options considered by the URA included apartments and office space. Gilman said those options are still on the table.  

Gilman said the URA will develop a timeline in the next few days and decide whether to issue a request for proposal.