Feb 14, 2014
The Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) offered students a tour of Almono, a redevelopment project on the site of the City of Pittsburgh’s last major undeveloped brownfield.
In 2002, four southwestern Pennsylvania foundations formed a limited partnership with RIDC, a non-profit private development organization as general partner, and purchased the 178 acre LTV Steel Hazelwood site. The partnership was convinced that this remarkable riverfront plateau offered a rare opportunity to set a new standard for urban riverfrontproperty development. The name Almono came from the three Pittsburgh rivers - the Allegheny, Monongahela, and the Ohio.
Across the street from the Almono site sits Hazelwood. Hazelwood consists of four ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods: Hazelwood, Glenwood, Glen Hazel, and Riverside, or “Below the Tracks.” Hazelwood has never recovered from the closing of the mill facilities at Almono. The community has lost much of its population base, most of its business district and much of its sense of community.
The tour was hosted by Tim White (MSPPM ’05), RIDC’s Vice President of Development. It also included a tour of the surrounding Hazelwood neighborhood guided by Matt Smutts of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).
This fall Power UP Pittsburgh (PUP) will a team of students at Heinz College in a systems project to quantify the potential economic impact of the pending development at Almono. The project hopes to provide the Hazelwood community and community partners with realistic projections regarding the opportunities for small businesses, proprietorships, and employment related to Almono. This spring another team of students will examine thetransportation implications of the development. RIDC has sponsored a project that will require students to take a look at the increased traffic anticipated to be generated by Almono, and alternatives to the $30 million in infrastructure changes PENNDOT will feel necessary to accommodate it. Both teams were well represented on the bus!
Heinz College thanks to Tim White and Matt Smutts for their help in putting the tour together. RIDC, PCRG, and Power Up Pittsburgh are all partners of the Heinz College’s Center for Economic Development, which sponsored the tour.
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