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A rendering of the new U.S. Steel office building planned for the site of the former Civic Arena in the Hill District.

By Mark Belko / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A museum to honor the region’s steel heritage is planned as part of U.S. Steel’s new headquarters that will be constructed on the site of the former Civic Arena in the Hill District, officials announced today.

The steelmaker has reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins to build a five-story, 268,000-square-foot building on the 28-acre site. About 250,000 square feet will be used as headquarter offices and the rest will be dedicated to retail and to the museum.

U.S. Steel said the new headquarters will house 800 employees. 

Construction is expected to begin in August or September of 2015 and the project’s expected to be completed by October 2017.

“U.S. Steel belongs in Pittsburgh and it feels really, really good to say that that’s the future,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said at a morning news conference announcing the deal.

U.S. Steel did not release cost estimates for the project.

The company is receiving new market tax credits and LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance) tax abatements. Nonetheless, U.S. Steel has agreed to pay half of the property taxes -- estimated at roughly $3 million -- all of which will help fund development in other portions of the Hill District, according to the company. 

Hill District leaders and Pittsburgh-area politicians, including the mayor, reached an agreement with the Penguins in September regarding levels of affordable housing, minority and women business participation, and other matters in regard to the site’s $440 million overall redevelopment. 

The city’s planning commission is expected to vote next week on the Penguins’ preliminary land development plan for the site. 

U.S.Steel and the city have reached an agreement with local labor unions to ensure the office-building project comes in on budget and on time.

The building will be owned by an affiliate of the Penguins and its developer, St. Louis-based Clayco. U.S. Steel will lease the building for 18 years.

“Right now you might see a parking lot out there. But I see a vibrant, thriving development that will serve as the cornerstone in the revitalization of this community and our company,” U.S. Steel CEO Mario Longhi said.

U.S. Steel’s announcement is a major coup for the Penguins in its efforts to redevelop the site, which is already slated to include 1,200 units of housing. With the U.S. Steel office building, the Penguins will be able to recruit commercial and retail activity to the site. They plan to request proposals on that front early next year. Also, the presence of a major corporation puts the team in position to build another office building.

U.S. Steel previously had been looking at sites near the Pittsburgh International Airport and also the Buncher site in the Strip District. The steelmaker, which was being courted by at least one other state, had pledged earlier this year to stay in Pennsylvania.

The company’s lease in the U.S. Steel Tower on Grant Street, Downtown expires in 2017.

The Civic Arena was razed in early 2012. 

Mark Belko:

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Date Published: 
Monday, November 24, 2014 | 412-765-1820 |

Serving the Greater Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA