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Rezoning for $400M Strip District development finalized

| Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 1:50 p.m.

A divided Pittsburgh City Council on Monday finalized legislation that rezones land where a $400 million development would be built in the Strip District.

Council approved the bill 5-4 with Patrick Dowd, Bill Peduto, Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak voting against it. The Buncher Co. can exceed building density and height limitations, among other things, on its 55 acres of property, now consisting primarily vacant parking lots between 11th and 21st streets, from Smallman Street to the Allegheny River.

Dowd, Peduto, Kraus and Rudiak argued for a larger setback along the Allegheny River and against gates limiting traffic on several streets in the development. Part of the iconic Produce Terminal also would be demolished and renovated if the project proceeds.

Dowd is holding up legislation that would provide $50 million in tax-increment financing for things such as water and sewer lines in the development. Tax-increment financing uses extra property taxes generated by development to repay loans. Buncher has not said whether the financing plan is a deal-breaker.

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