PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The renovation of the former Civic Arena site hit a snag Friday, after a lawsuit was filed against the city and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The plans call for turning the empty parking lot into a new U.S. Steel world headquarters — and that’s not all.READ MORE: Anti-Violence Organizations In Pittsburgh React To New Law Enforcement Initiatives
Down the road there are plans for 110 units of new housing — as well as retail and entertainment venues.
But all of that hit a speed bump Friday when the Hill District Community Development Cooperation filed suit against the city — saying the city and the Penguins were not holding up their end of the bargain.
“The project is new, it hasn’t even gone through approval stage and already we’ve been told they’re not going to adhere to it,” attorney Jonathan Kamin said.
For the past two years, the Penguins and the community negotiated a signed agreement outlining a development plan that would include provisions of low-cost housing, minority construction contract and a fund for Hill District redevelopment.
But Kamin says now the Pens say these are only goals and haven’t involved the hill in recent planning — and today they sued the city planning commission for approving those recent plans.READ MORE: UPMC Doctors Trying To Raise Awareness About Benefits Of Naps For First Responders
“We believe this is something that was negotiated in good faith, signed in good faith and that everybody in good faith ought to live by their obligations,” Kamin said.
The Penguins declined comment but the mayor’s chief of staff Kevin Acklin says there has been no violation of the agreement and that both the city and the Penguins intend to comply with the goals contained in it.
“This is the most robust agreement that any developer has ever given to ta community in the history of the city of Pittsburgh,” Acklin said.
Acklin says the legal entanglements should not delay the building of the U.S. Steel headquarters.
“We’re going to forge ahead. We have the commitment in place. We feel we have partners in place. We think it’s great not only for the lower, middle and upper Hill but great for the city of Pittsburgh.”
The city and the Penguins are hopeful that this suit does not impede the development of the U.S. Steel Headquarters and the rest of the site, but that remains to be seen.MORE NEWS: Steelers Will Not Hold Training Camp At Saint Vincent College This Year
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