Allegheny County Council panel OKs tax assistance for three projects

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The site of the former U.S. Steel mill in Duquesne could become home to a new 30,000-square foot office building, members of Allegheny County Council learned Tuesday.

Representatives from the Regional Industrial Development Corporation described their plans for the Duquesne project at a meeting Tuesday of council's Economic Development and Housing Committee. RIDC has already developed about 60 percent of the Duquesne site, and about 70 acres along the Monongahela River remain open for development.

The building would hold three to six tenants, likely companies in the light industrial manufacturing industry, with room for 45 to 75 employees, according to RIDC.

The project could break ground in October, and open in spring of 2015, if council approves extending a tax-increment financing plan, or TIF, already approved for the site in Duquesne.

"I think it is a great opportunity for us to help these communities," said Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin.

The committee voted to send the resolution to the full council for a final vote.

In addition to the Duquesne plan, members of the council committee also approved tax abatement requests for economic development initiatives. in the Strip District and in Bloomfield.

Oxford Development should benefit from a tax abatement program known as a LERTA, or Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, for a Strip District development called Three Crossings.

The project will include four office buildings, 300 units of apartments with about 180 parking spaces, a transportation center with almost 600 parking spaces, as well as bicycle and kayak storage space and public green spaces near the riverfront.

The hard costs for the project are $71.3 million, according to Oxford. Construction on the apartments and the first office building are expected to begin Oct. 1.

The council committee approved the 10-year LERTA, pending approval by Pittsburgh school district.

A third project, the Morrow Park City Apartments, is a $46 million project already under way by Farmington Hills, Mich.-based developer Village Green. The 210-unit apartment, which will also include parking, will be located at Baum Boulevard and Liberty Avenue. The complex should be open to occupants by fall of 2015.

The economic development committee approved a 10-year LERTA for the Bloomfield project.

The three development resolutions will move on to the full council for a final vote. Council meets at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

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