Pittsburgh Awarded Federal Grant for Hill District Redevelopment

September 9, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – September 9, 2014 – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA-14) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County for the planning phase of a major project to redevelop Pittsburgh’s Lower Hill District.


“This is a very positive step,” Congressman Doyle said in announcing the grant. “This grant is a clear indication that the U.S. Department of Transportation wants to partner with Pittsburgh on the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. It’s good to know that the Department believes this project has merit.”

“I appreciate DoT’s support for the Lower Hill Redevelopment Improvement project,” Congressman Doyle added. “We can build on this foundation as we continue to fight for funding for this multiyear project. The redevelopment of the old Civic Arena site is going to take ten years, and this planning grant demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to the project for the long haul.”

The grant announced today would fund the preliminary design for the “cap” over Interstate I-579 between Centre Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard. 

It came on the same day as local government, community, and Penguins officials today announced a new community collaboration plan for the development of the Hill District, a new tax increment financing district to fund improvements in six neighborhoods across the area, and an option agreement with the Penguins to be voted on later this week by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

“We’ve reached a transformative agreement with the community and the Penguins on a plan for moving ahead with the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District,” Congressman Doyle observed. “With this plan in place, we can now move ahead to secure the rest of the necessary funding.”

“This plan will build transformational wealth for the residents of the greater Hill District,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “It could not have happened without the cooperation of the residents and businesses of the Hill District, the strong leadership of Congressman Mike Doyle, City Councilman Dan Lavelle, URA Chairman Kevin Acklin, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the Penguins and so many others. This is a historic day.”

“This announcement is a step forward, and recognition that the collaboration and cooperation that has resulted in agreement on the future of this development was well worth the work,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “This planning funding will allow this core group to continue working together to move this project, and the redevelopment of the Lower Hill, forward with purpose.”

"This is another positive step forward in reconnecting the Hill District to Downtown,” said Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. “When the Crosstown Boulevard was built, the Hill was severely severed from Downtown. The planning grant to provide the cap over the boulevard would provide a much needed connection between our community and Pennsylvania's second largest economic center, Downtown Pittsburgh.”

“We are pleased that the Civic Arena site project has received a TIGER grant for preliminary design of the ‘cap’ over Interstate 579, between Centre Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard,” Travis Williams, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Chief Operating Officer, said. “We believe that the ‘cap’ is critical to reconnecting the Hill District with Downtown and attracting developers to our site. We appreciate the investment that the federal government has made in this project and look forward to working to continuing to work with them as the development progresses.”

Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (‘‘TIGER”) Grants, which are competitively awarded, can be used on transportation projects like highways, bridges, public transportation, passenger and freight railroads, and marine ports. TIGER Grants range in size from $1 million up to $200 million.  They may be used for up to 80 percent of the costs of an eligible project.