Plans to build music venue, parking garage at site of former Civic Arena could move forward Thursday

Plans to build a music venue and parking garage at the site of the former Civic Arena could finally move forward.

The last key votes are expected Thursday, roughly three years after the project was first announced.

It’s a vote nearly three years in the making.

“This is a place where you can live, work and play. Live music venue is part of the play,” said Dr. Kimberly Ellis with the Buccini/Pollin Group.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority is set to vote Thursday afternoon on a $110 million proposal. It’s all part of the Lower Hill Redevelopment Project involving the Pittsburgh Penguins that will transform the former Civic Arena space into an entertainment venue run by Live Nation complete with a parking garage and retail space.

The initial plans were presented before the pandemic and changes were made to get to this final vote.

“There is a whole new administration. There have been some growing pains we’ve all been working with the administration, and I think now we are coalescing together and coming to a better balance,” Ellis said.

That includes the push from the community to add a $2 surcharge to each ticket for Live Nation events and parking tickets that will be funneled back into the community.

“To make sure people aren’t moved out of their homes, it goes to home repair, it goes to community activities, it goes to building businesses, development,” Ellis said.

While Dr. Ellis works with the development company, she was born and raised in the Hill District. Part of the agreement is making sure there are opportunities for residents. That’s why a job fair was held Wednesday to try to get residents employed in the construction to ultimately one day work on these projects in their own neighborhoods.

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