Pittsburgh Continues Green Redevelopment with Pens’ Plan for 28-Acre Former Civic Arena site

Sources:  Commercial Property Executive, Pittsburgh Business Times ; Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership  

Green redevelopment in downtown Pittsburgh is growing. The Pittsburgh Business Times has reported that the former Civic Arena 28-acre site is poised to become a mixed-use “live-work-play community” that includes 1,200 units of housing, 600,000 square feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of retail space. As the developer, the Penguins plan to pursue LEED For Neighborhood Development certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at energy savings, water efficiency, atmospheric protection, indoor air quality and stewardship of materials and the environment in general.

Jones Lang LaSalle was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins as its owner’s representative to help lead the redevelopment of the Civic Arena site. J.C. Pelusi, Jones Lang Lasalle’s market director for the Pittsburgh region, told Commercial Property Executive that there are few examples of such a sizable parcel in a major city setting and noted that the proposed mix of uses is tentative. The eventual configuration, over a buildout period of probably five to 10 years, he said, will be shaped by how the market evolves over that time.

Completed in 1961, the Civic Arena, later known as Mellon Arena, was the Penguins’ home from 1967 through 2010, when the team, and the arena’s other users, moved across the street to CONSOL Energy Center. Nicknamed “The Igloo,” the arena reportedly was the first of its size in the world to boast a retractable roof. Demolition began last September and was recently finished.

“While one may or may not agree with the decision to raze the Mellon Arena, redevelopment of the site represents a truly rare opportunity for Pittsburgh to show the world, on a grand scale, its commitment to sustainable design and development,” said Raymond Orowetz P.E., LEED Green Associate, Associate Broker at Colliers International Pittsburgh.

“LEED for Neighborhood Development challenges stakeholders to think beyond buildings as silos and apply a wholistic approach to site (re)development,” adds David Thor, LEED AP, Associate at Colliers International | Pittsburgh. “It’s great to see the Penguins organization embrace LEED-ND as they embark on reintegrating such a high-profile and prime parcel of land.”

The State of Downtown Pittsburgh 2012 report by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership highlights notable LEED accredited rankings and accolades as well as redevelopment news in the Pittsburgh region. According to the report, Downtown Pittsburgh is credited with over six million square feet of LEED certified space, and another 900,000 square feet anticipated with the completion of The Tower at PNC and The Gardens at Market Square. This will be the second $400 million office building in recent years for the PNC Corporation, which is touted to become the “greenest building in the world.” Both of these new structures are located near the historic and evolving Market Square District which has undergone a major landscape renovation creating a beautiful area for outdoor dining, music and green space for people to enjoy.

Within Pittsburgh’s central business district is the world’s first LEED Gold convention center, the only LEED Gold NHL facility, and one of the largest green walls in North America. Pittsburgh ranks15th in U.S. cities for the number of LEED certified projects and Pennsylvania ranks 7th in the country, setting an example of creating excellent environments for people while conserving natural resources.

Posted on June 14, 2012, in Sustainability and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pittsburgh Continues Green Redevelopment with Pens’ Plan for 28-Acre Former Civic Arena site.

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