PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today announced progress on the redevelopment of the 168-acre Carrie Furnace site, which spans portions of Rankin, Swissvale, Whitaker, Munhall and Pittsburgh, as well as the three-acre former UPMC Braddock site.
“The steps taken this morning by the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County move us closer to redeveloping two key sites in the Mon Valley, which will result in hundreds of jobs, as well as new residential, commercial, light industrial and flex-office space,” said Fitzgerald. “Our efforts will also return dozens of acres of land to the tax rolls, generating income for some of our most distressed municipalities.”
The Redevelopment Authority authorized the county’s Economic Development staff to award a contract in the amount of $183,000 to Independent Enterprises Inc. to tie the Carrie Furnace site’s main sewer line into the ALCOSAN system. This will enable installation of sewer lines throughout the site to support development efforts. The authority also authorized the solicitation of bids to demolish the railroad trestle that bisects the property, thereby enabling the preparation of 90 acres on the western side of the site for development.
Allegheny County is currently raising the eastern portion of the site out of the 100-year flood plain in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Previous work completed at the site includes underground vault excavation, site remediation, and stormwater and water line installation. There are currently 25 acres ready for development at the site.
During the next six to 12 months, the county anticipates finalizing plans for the construction of a fly-over ramp that will connect the site to the Rankin Bridge. Two to four additional shovel-ready sites will be prepared, and the county will continue to clean and remediate the area through DEP’s Act 2 land recycling process. The existing Hot Metal Bridge that crosses the Monongahela River will be converted for vehicular use, and it will also incorporate a trail that links the site to the Great Allegheny Passage on the south side of the river.
Allegheny County expects 1,000 jobs to be created during the first 15 years of development at the Carrie Furnace’s LEED-certified flex-office/light industrial park. The site is projected to create another 250 to 500 jobs through additional development and concentration efforts during the following 25 years.
Also at its meeting today, the Redevelopment Authority authorized staff to enter into a sales and redevelopment agreement with Trek Development Group, which will purchase the three-acre former UPMC Braddock site from the authority for $250,000. UPMC donated the site to Allegheny County after it ceased operations in 2010. Trek will undertake a $20 million development that includes 11 single-family homes, 24 rental apartments, 30,000 square feet of commercial and flex-office space, and a community park.
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The Carrie Furnace site once produced iron ore that was then transported to the Homestead Works across the Monongahela River, where the steelmaking process was completed. The Carrie blast furnaces were built in the early 1900s and ceased operation in the early 1980s. The Park Corporation purchased the site in 1988 and sold the property to the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County for $5.75 million in August 2005. The remaining furnaces were designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and will be the site of a proposed Steel Industry National Historic Site. The majority of the 168-acre site will be redeveloped for commercial, light industrial, flex-office and residential use.