Penn Hills council seeks a million in casino-revenue funding
By Patrick Varine
Published: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Penn Hills council is expected to approve a resolution on Monday that confirms its intent to pursue casino revenue for infrastructure development at the former East Hills Shopping Center on Robinson Boulevard.
Penn Hills Planning Director Howard Davidson said council gave him verbal approval to submit an application to the county's Gaming Economic Development Fund in time to meet an Oct. 28 deadline. Council discussed the application at its Oct. 17 workshop meeting.
"We applied for a million dollars to develop an industrial park on the property, to install infrastructure and create building-ready parcels, and, hopefully, revitalize the neighborhood and create jobs for the community," Davidson said.
The 44-acre property straddles Penn Hills, Wilkinsburg and Pittsburgh, and Davidson said he emphasized in his application that more than $2.5 million already had been spent by the county to demolish old buildings on the site and that the project is regional in scope, he said.
The property, owned by Petra International Ministries of Penn Hills and its offshoot, Operation Nehemiah, once was touted as the future home of a Lowe's and Walmart, but both companies have scrapped their plans to move there.
Other projects council considered for the application included a riverfront bicycle trail that has been in the works conceptually for some time, and development of the former Atlas cement plant and U.S. Steel slag dump, which comprise nearly all of Penn Hills' industrial acreage.
Council chose developing the shopping center land because the project would have the greatest potential for local job growth. The project has been dubbed Eastgate Commerce Center, although there are as yet no concrete plans.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.