Barden wants to drop $3 million Hill development grant

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Pittsburgh casino developer Don Barden is seeking to drop a pledge to provide $1 million a year for three years to Hill District redevelopment efforts.

In a filing yesterday with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Mr. Barden's company, PITG Gaming LLC, said it wanted to drop the commitment "due to the grant of the development rights to another party."

That was an apparent reference to the award of development rights to the Penguins for redevelopment of the 28-acre Mellon Arena site. The Penguins secured those rights as part of negotiations over a new arena to keep the team in Pittsburgh.

The request was included in a petition in which Mr. Barden also is seeking to modify the financing for his Pittsburgh casino, which is scheduled to open in May 2009. The requests eventually will go before the gaming board for action. Neither Mr. Barden nor other PITG Gaming officials could be reached for comment.

Mr. Barden offered to provide the $3 million in hearings leading up to the award of the gaming license in December 2006.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.



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