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Pittsburgh's URA delays vote on Civic Arena site development deal with Penguins

Bob Bauder
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 12:57 p.m.
The former site of the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District is seen from the 20th floor of the Marriott City Center.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
The former site of the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District is seen from the 20th floor of the Marriott City Center.

A development agreement with the Penguins passed one Pittsburgh authority Thursday morning, but hit a roadblock in the afternoon when another city authority voted to give board members more time to review the proposed deal.

The city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority approved the agreement for development of the former Civic Arena property in the Lower Hill District. Two hours later, Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board members agreed to delay a vote until Wednesday.

“I'm not in the business of forcing votes when board members aren't comfortable,” said URA Chairman Kevin Acklin, who doubles as Mayor Bill Peduto's chief of staff. “This is a good deal. We understand the need for board members to spend some more time with this over the weekend.”

Hill District representatives — including City Councilman and URA director R. Daniel Lavelle, SEA director Sala Udin and the Hill Community Development Corp. — called for the delay so members and the public could better understand the agreement.

Udin voted against the agreement after requesting a 30-day delay to permit public review and comment, particularly by Hill District residents. Other SEA members opposed the request.

Acklin said deadline dates and penalties “were in flux” since last week when he announced the team would lose 30 percent of parking revenue by missing the 2020 deadline.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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