Peduto Says Arena Site Development Could Be Delayed Again

Jun 14, 2018

The Penguins and Saint Louis-based developer McCormack Baron Salazar are supposed to start construction late this year on the affordable housing component of the development of the old Civic Arena site.

The construction timeline was determined in a memo of understanding reached late last year.

But it's unclear if work on the first phase of the residential development on the 28 acres will actually get underway by then.

“They had applied through their developer, McCormack Baron, for a 9 percent low income tax credit which they did not receive,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

The Low Income Tax Credit is a federal tool to encourage construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing by easing the debt burden on the developer. Peduto said he has relayed to state officials that the tax credit denial could delay the start of construction.

The mayor said unless the state reconsiders, officials will have to turn to "Plan B" to build the affordable housing which includes city, county and state assistance to help subsidize the cost of the affordable housing “and the Penguins would have to agree to some concessions.”

According to Peduto, if the assistance package and concessions come together, construction could still start in late November or early December.

He said frustration sets in when local, state and federal officials, and the Penguins all say they have no more to give toward the development.

“That's part of the negotiations,” Peduto said. “There has to be give and take on both sides in order to make sure we hit all the goals of the agreement with the community.”