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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Plans have been unveiled for the start of development at the old Civic Arena site.

It is expected to provide some much-needed housing in the area, but it raises the question: where will people going to PPG Paints Arena park?

“In the future, it will be not a parking lot, but a continuation of downtown as it reconnects to the hill,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

But it’s been a parking lot for quite a while. The mayor says talk of the redevelopment was already well underway when the Civic Arena came down, and the site became a sea of parking. The talking and negotiating has been going on for years.

“We’ve made some incredible strides over the past couple of months, but we still have a lot to do,” Peduto said.

At least now the Penguins developer has started the countdown on construction of two housing units across from Freedom Corner. One would house 54 affordable units, and the second building would house 201 market rate units with a total of 935 residential units in the plan eventually.

“We have the opportunity not only to see the development occur, and the affordable housing to exceed what the community had requested and even including a minority developer,” Peduto said.

The first residential buildings should be coming out of the ground by this time next year with entertainment, retail and restaurants to follow.

“Then what I think you will start to see is the infill development between both of those happening at a quicker pace,” Peduto said.

So where is everyone going to events at PPG Paints Arena going to park?

“The city will be building a new parking garage,” Peduto said. “It will be in the back corner by the Energy Innovations center.”

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