| Business

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Master developer sought for Hazelwood site

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By Ron Daparma
Friday, Aug. 31, 2007

Efforts to bring a $400 million development with housing, commercial space, community amenities and greenspace to a 178-acre former LTV Corp. coke works property in Hazelwood will move forward under new direction, officials said.

A master developer is being sought to spearhead development of the prime riverfront site since Cleveland-based developer Forest City Enterprises Inc. is no longer actively involved.

"By mutual agreement with Forest City, we've decided to move in another direction," Robert Stephenson, president of the Regional Industrial Development Corp., said this week.

The RIDC is the general partner in Almono L.P., a nonprofit partnership of four local foundations that purchased the site in September 2002. Buildout of the project is expected to take years and create 2,400 jobs.

Forest City, owner of Liberty Center, Downtown, and Station Square, in the South Side, had worked with the group to move the project forward. But it also became heavily involved in an effort to win state approval to build a slots casino at Station Square, losing out earlier this year to Majestic Star Casino's proposal to build a casino on the North Shore.

Stephenson said Forest City never signed a development agreement with the ownership group, which includes the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation and the McCune Foundation.

Forest City officials could not be reached for comment.

"Forest City could still become involved at some point ... but now our focus is to find a new master developer," Stephenson said. "We're talking to a half a dozen different folks. Our objective will be to get a new developer by the fall and be able to start the planning approval process with the city in the early part of 2008."

The foundation owners and RIDC have decided that they no longer can wait to find out whether plans for the Mon-Fayette Expressway to go through the Hazelwood area will ever come to fruition.

Uncertainties about the roadway made it difficult to plan because one proposed path for the road could cut through a portion of the property.

"We're moving beyond that," Stephenson said. "We're taking the attitude that we are going to go ahead with planning."

Representatives of the Hazelwood community will continue to be involved in the process, he said.

"I think this is a good move on the part of Almono and the RIDC," said Jim Richter, executive director of the Hazelwood Initiative, a nonprofit neighborhood group. "I'm still excited about the project."

As described when it was announced in 2002, the project envisioned a mix of housing, offices, light industrial and university facilities, complemented by a blend of public park land, walking trails and other recreation and neighborhood amenities.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
  2. Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
  3. South Fayette, Aliquippa form unique traditions for Thanksgiving Day
  4. Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
  5. Gorman: Look out for unsung hero
  6. Occupying playoff spot on Thanksgiving good harbinger for Penguins
  7. Penn State-West Virginia rivalry renews at Elite Eight
  8. Penn State suffers home loss to Radford
  9. NFL notebook: Manning will miss at least 2 more weeks
  10. West Virginia football team finds late-season mean streak
  11. Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change