PITTSBURGH, PA (Aug. 14, 2014) – Governor Tom Corbett today announced that a public private partnership involving several state agencies will transform a brownfields site into a world class center for international trade including office space, research and development capacity and a 400 room hotel with convention space. The transformational project is projected to generate $250 million in private investment and lead to the creation of 7,000 direct and indirect jobs, and more than 1,200 construction jobs.
“Pennsylvania’s industries of the past have created opportunities for state and local leaders to work together to transform oft-neglected land into useable, productive centers of business, recreation and commerce,” said Gov. Corbett. “The Pittsburgh World Trade Center will be a beacon for travelers, businesses and workers alike and will serve as an economic engine for the region, generating new tax revenues and creating thousands of new jobs.”
The commonwealth and Allegheny County are partnering with the Pittsburgh International Airport on the project to create the new Pittsburgh International Airport World Trade Center. The redevelopment will provide sites for over one million square feet of Class A office space, 90,000 square feet for research and development and a 400-room hotel with convention space. In addition, there is space for up to six corporate hangars which will allow a corporate user to locate its headquarters building and its corporate hangar in the same business park.
“The success of the Airport area’s development is exceptional. We want this growth to continue which is why it is so important that we continue to develop ‘shovel ready’ sites,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “As this region continues to grow, providing a place for businesses that are integrally linked to the airport is a priority, while we also continue to build on our reputation as an international community.”
A $5 million Economic Growth Initiative grant was awarded to the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh International Airport for site remediation and the construction of a mixed-used commercial, retail and international trade center to be located on the grounds of the airport. As part of the project, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has committed up to $1 million in funds to repair and improve state roads providing access to the site.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $1 million federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act grant for environmental remediation including shoring up former mine walls and removing acid mine drainage at the site.
“The Airport Authority is grateful for the cooperation and support of the Governor and the County Executive, as well as the state and local leaders who helped to make this funding for the World Trade Center possible. Pittsburgh International Airport's role as an economic generator is two-fold: Providing high quality, competitive air service in and out of southwestern PA and developing key properties to attract new industry and jobs. This funding allows us to move the World Trade Center project forward so we can continue to build on that role,”said Chairman David Minnotte, Allegheny County Airport Authority.
The 195 acre site located near the entrance to the Pittsburgh International Airport is a former coal mine and area used to dump municipal waste. Once the development is complete, the coal mines will be removed, the mine spoil will be appropriately handled, a new road will be installed and grading will be completed for the future development. All utilities will be brought to the site and a new pathway will be provided for the Montour Trail connection to the airport. All of this development will occur on a site that is currently undeveloped and generating no tax revenue to the state and local economy.
In 2012, Corbett reformed the state’s method of funding Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program with a significant redesign, making the process more transparent and objective. Projects are now selected based upon their job-creation potential, their economic impact, as well as their viability and construction readiness.
Prior to Corbett taking office, the state’s spending and borrowing for capital redevelopment assistance had become unsustainable for the state and its taxpayers, growing from $400 million in 1986 to slightly more than $4 billion in 2010. Corbett also said that the program had strayed considerably from its intended purpose of encouraging and assisting job growth through regional economic development projects.
Last round, the Corbett Administration announced 58 new Economic Growth Initiative grants, totaling more than $133 million. The announced projects are expected to create more than 45,000 jobs in 24 counties across the state.