Transforming Pittsburgh’s postindustrial waterfront for innovation and equitable growth
Located in the city of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood and situated along the Monongahela River, Hazelwood Green is a former brownfield site that was once the home of Jones & Laughlin Steel Company and then later, LTV Steel. Steelmaking operations at the site ceased in the 1990s, and a group of Pittsburgh’s most prominent foundations saw an opportunity to secure the site, recognizing its significant redevelopment potential as one of the last large land assemblages along Pittsburgh’s waterfront. The land was purchased in 2002 by Almono LP, which comprises three Pittsburgh foundations: the Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
Since then, Almono has led the reclamation of the site’s 178 acres and its environmental remediation from the effects of industry. Hazelwood Green is envisioned to become a world-class model for sustainable development that is aligned with the community and grounded in the principles of sustainability, equity, and inclusive economic opportunity. The development plan for the site includes a mix of research and development, light manufacturing, offices, housing, public green spaces, trails, and transportation, with the goal of welcoming a new generation of innovators, creating new opportunities for greater Hazelwood, and growing Pittsburgh’s economy. Development of the site is underway, including a two-acre public plaza that will serve as the civic heart of Hazelwood Green and the restoration of the historic Roundhouse (a former locomotive engine repair facility) into an innovation hub and coworking space for OneValley. Mill 19, a legacy structure on the site owned by the Pittsburgh Regional Industrial Development Corporation, has been redeveloped into offices for tenants specializing in manufacturing, AI, automation, and robotics.
U3 has worked with Almono LLC (the general partner of Almono LP) since April 2019 on the following efforts:
Overall Project Direction and Management: U3 has served as Project Director since January 2020 and manages the day-to-day functions of Almono LLC, including overseeing property management of the 178-acre site, establishing and tracking annual capital and operating budgets, coordinating with Pittsburgh’s municipal agencies related to utility infrastructure and easements, and providing oversight for the various construction projects underway on the site, including the Plaza and Roundhouse.
Developer Negotiations: U3 serves as lead negotiator for Almono in its discussions with a potential master developer partner as well as with other parties that have expressed interest in locating at Hazelwood Green.
Transit Strategy: U3 is also tasked with developing a strategy to improve transit connections between Hazelwood Green, Oakland, and Downtown Pittsburgh in the near- and long-terms. Micro-transit is a core element of this strategy, and U3 has put together a plan for small, free electric shuttles to carry passengers between Hazelwood Green and Oakland using public streets and new mobility trails to be funded by the City of Pittsburgh.
Strengthening Neighborhood Connections: Another key task for U3 is to ensure that the development of Hazelwood Green translates into economic opportunity for Greater Hazelwood and meaningfully knits the site together with the surrounding neighborhood. To achieve this, U3 is overseeing a riverfront master planning process that would activate the waterfront through a variety of passive and active uses and reconnect Greater Hazelwood to the water for the first time in over a century. U3 is also managing opportunities for public art and infrastructure installations across the site (including customized bus shelters) and working closely with Hazelwood residents to program a variety of events on the Plaza once it opens in early 2021.