Lower Hill development

Courtesy of Gensler

The Pittsburgh Penguins will advance their plans for a 26-story office tower on the former site of the Civic Arena in the Lower Hill. The project won preliminary approval from the board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday, a week after they moved to delay the vote, citing community concerns and documents received at the last minute.

Gensler

After more than ten years of negotiations, plans and delays, the Pittsburgh Penguins intend to break ground on the 28-acre Lower Hill project in fall 2019.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Urban Redevelopment Authority Chairman Kevin Acklin resigned from his post Thursday in anticipation of his new role as senior vice president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Acklin will oversee the Penguins' development of the former Civic Arena site in the Hill District -- a project that has caused strife between the URA and the Penguins in the past.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Kevin Acklin, Mayor Bill Peduto’s former chief of staff, will become senior vice president of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team announced today. In addition, Acklin will oversee development of the former Civic Arena site.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Over the course of 2017, the long-discussed development of a 28-acre parcel in the Lower Hill District moved one step closer to realization.

After months of negotiation, the Penguins organization—which holds exclusive development rights to the land—the city, Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority agreed to new development terms in December.

Just how long the site has been on its way to shovels in the ground is measured best in decades rather than years.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A decision on the Penguins’ amended development plan for the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill has been delayed until next week.

While the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County approved the new plan, it still needs approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

URA Chairman Kevin Acklin acknowledged the new plan wasn’t circulated to board members until late Wednesday night for a Thursday vote. At the request of City Councilman Lavelle, who also sits on the URA board, Acklin did not ask for a vote.

Keith Srakocic / AP Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins' development arm, Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Development LP, is nearing its final deadline to start the first phase of development at the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

  A giant billboard went up at the intersection of Centre Avenue and Crawford Street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood in 1960. It read, “No Development Beyond This Point.”