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6 county projects to share $3.7 million casino taxes

| Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011

Allegheny County officials chose six projects to receive money from a state fund that uses casino taxes for development.

If the state approves, the projects will receive about $500,000 each from $3.7 million available this year from the Gaming Economic Development and Tourism Fund.

The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County identified the Civic Arena site in the Hill District, the $70 million Newbury development in South Fayette and four other projects to receive money. All requests must be approved by the state's Commonwealth Financing Authority.

The Redevelopment Authority received 51 applications seeking a total of more than $25 million. The six selected projects were:

-- The Lower Hill Infrastructure, designing a four-street area to reconnect the Hill District to Downtown after demolition of the Civic Arena. It is part of a $446 million, 28-acre mixed-use development project.

-- Newbury, being developed by Brett Malky of EQA Landmark on 301 acres that was a former Koppers Chemicals plant site. It will contain more than 950,000 square feet of office space, restaurants, banks, a hotel and retailers. The project will include 200 for-sale homes and about 250 rental apartments. Money will be used for offsite traffic improvements related to the development.

-- LTV Hazelwood, preparing a brownfield site for engineering and construction work. Planning includes building 2 million square feet of office, research and development space.

-- Bakery Square phase two, building a 12-acre mixed-use development that will include 400,000 square feet of new office space, 81 rental townhouses and 27 single-family houses in the East End. It will build on the success of the Bakery Square development across Penn Avenue. Money would be used for utilities, sidewalks, curbs, street lighting and other fixtures.

-- Eden Hall Campus of Chatham University in Richland, developing the initial phase of a $22 million campus. Money would be used for infrastructure and landscape restoration.

-- Harmar's plan to realign Rich Hill Road at state Route 910, creating a safer intersection with installation of a traffic signal, storm sewers, street lighting, landscape and signage.

The Gaming Economic Development Fund was created this year from $34 million originally authorized for development of a hotel at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown. The Legislature on July 1 allotted the money instead to the Commonwealth Financing Authority because it had not been used for the hotel.

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