Developers ask Pittsburgh schools for tax abatement

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Village Green the developers of the new Morrow Park City Apartments at Baum Boulevard and Liberty Avenue tonight asked the Pittsburgh Public Schools for property tax abatement worth as much as $1.587 million over 10 years.

Village Green CEO Jon Holtzman presented the plans for a $46 million, 210-unit complex on the site formerly occupied by a Don Allen Chevrolet used car lot near UPMC Shadyside.

The type of tax abatement is called LERTA -- Local Economic Revitalization Tax Act District. The abatement would run for 10 years, with the amount of tax paid gradually increasing until in year 11 when the full annual property tax of $207,716 a year would be paid. The math is based on an assessed value of $21 million.

The site currently generates $10,538 a year in taxes. For the first two years, the development would pay that amount. Over the course of 10 years, the development would pay $489,602, compared to $105,378 if there is no development.

The city and the county have automatically granted the LERTA for their property taxes. The school board is expected to vote later this month.

The building would be six stories above ground and have two floors below ground for parking.

Mr. Holtzman said the LERTA is needed because of $3.6 million in extra costs in developing the site. That includes building around a Duquesne Light transformer, a high bedrock table, low-bearing capacity soil and a high water table.

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