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Loan granted for LTV project in Hazelwood

| Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, 12:35 a.m.

The developer of the vast brownfield along the Monongahela River in Hazelwood will get a $5 million, low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing Authority to help build roads and sewers, officials announced Thursday.

Almono LP, which owns the former LTV Steel site, will use the money for its $35 million first phase of infrastructure improvements intended to make the site ready for development and marketing to potential tenants, said Don Smith, president of the nonprofit Regional Industrial Development Corp., which partnered with several area foundations to form Almono. Work has started on $7.5 million of clearing and site grading, he said.

“The next phase will include installing the core utilities, a signature boulevard through the site, then an extraordinary amount of off-site improvements to the surrounding roads to address the traffic congestion that already exists there,” Smith said. The entire build-out of the site's roads and utilities will cost an estimated $130 million.

Traffic backups occur on Second Avenue alongside the site, and there is limited access from the existing neighborhood to the development site.

Almono officials envision an immense redevelopment with four separate neighborhoods: a riverfront residential development closest to Oakland, an environmental science center, a technology park surrounding the former mill building and a mix of residential, office and commercial space in the “Hazelwood Flats” at the eastern end of the site.

The state loan comes with a 3 percent annual interest rate through a state program that offers low-interest loans to help businesses and governments make previously used or undeveloped land suitable for development.

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