Plan for live music venue in Lower Hill moves forward

Pittsburgh City Planning Commissioners voted on Tuesday to approve a live music venue as part of the ongoing Lower Hill redevelopment project.

The vote came following discussion and a presentation by the Buccini/Pollin Group, the project developer, as selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It’s a major infrastructure and economic development project for Pittsburgh, and it’s one that sustains our redevelopment and reinvestment efforts that we started with the construction of the FNB towers,” said Chris Buccini, co-president of Buccini/Pollin.

This latest phase looks at the lot at Wyle Avenue and Fullerton Street, and seeks to transform it into an entertainment space. The $110 million project includes a state-of-the-art Live Nation music venue with a 4500-person capacity, along with a parking garage holding 900 spaces, some retail space, and a public safety center.

Buccini said that the plan has changed slightly since it was first introduced before the pandemic. Some tweaks were made, including height reduction, and elimination of an outdoor component in order to reduce “noise pollution.”

“I’m ecstatic to present some additional economic incentives for our neighbors in the historic Hill District community,” Buccini said.

The developers said that the plan will funnel millions of dollars back into the community via the Greater Hill District Neighborhood Reinvestment Fund.

It’s estimated that $8 to $10 million will be generated via Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA).

Additionally, 25 percent of the projected parking tax, over the next 20 years, will go into the community as well, Buccini said.

“I’m just trying to understand, while we build our ‘city for all,’ how it’s equitable for the private developer to get 75 percent of our public money, and our public tax dollars to go into their project, while the community is stuck with 25 percent, while we deal with complex and difficult issues around the property,” said Marimba Milliones, CEO of the Hill Community Development Corporation.

Channel 11 told you back in October that Milliones was asking for $2 per ticket and $2 per parking proceeds to benefit the community.

On Tuesday, Buccini said that there will be a $2 per ticket surcharge on Live Nation events to benefit the Hill District.

Milliones stated that she had not received that pledge in writing.

Prior to the vote, one commissioner stated that the commission is being asked to “mediate” matters that it cannot mediate, and that the commission cannot be the “arbiter” of every issue.

Channel 11 is working to follow this story and bring you the next steps.

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