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3 high-tech Allegheny County projects need tax dollars

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 12:03 a.m.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald plans to ask County Council to approve at least three development projects that taxpayers might help finance.

Among the largest is an $80 million tax-increment financing plan for a Hazelwood redevelopment project at the site of a former LTV Steel plant. Nonprofit developer Almono LP wants to build a mix of high-tech office buildings, housing and park space on 178 acres along the Monongahela River.

“I'm very enthusiastic about the Almono project. It's a neighborhood that needs a jumpstart,” said Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, D-Regent Square, whose district includes Hazelwood. “And the plans have a residential component.”

The tax-increment plan must be approved by county, school and city elected officials, who would agree to give up some of the anticipated tax revenues for 20 years. That money would be used to repay money spent upfront on roads, utility installations and site grading. The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority approved the project this month.

Council will likely send the proposal to committee.

Council is set to vote on a second TIF package, a $24 million plan to complete the last phase of Summerset at Frick Park, a Squirrel Hill housing development.

The first two phases of the housing plan are complete. Summerset is on a reclaimed slag heap that overlooks the Parkway East near the Squirrel Hill Tunnel. The third and final phase could bring the number of houses to more than 700.

Details on a third project, an office building and parking garage in Oakland, were not available.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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