PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With the Penguins’ playoff run in full gear, there’s been a lot of excitement being generated inside the CONSOL Energy Center.
But outside, it’s a different story. The team’s development of the old Civic Arena site has stalled, and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has grown impatient.
“Well, we’ve been working with them now for two years, and I would have hoped by now to have seen something actually under construction,” said Mayor Peduto
While workers are busy preparing the site, the Penguins are said to be balking at an October deadline to begin construction of 175 residential units there.
The team, which has owned the development rights to the site since 2007, has already purchased two extensions after U.S. Steel scratched its plans to build a headquarters on the site.
Now, in a letter to city officials, the team says there are financial hurdles and issues of environmental contamination standing in the way of the residential development.
“There’s environmental concerns on every inch of Pittsburgh; there’s nowhere, probably not even Schenley Park that doesn’t have some level of environmental concerns.”
The Penguins did not return KDKA’s phone calls on Tuesday.
Mayor Peduto indicated he was tired of what he views as excuses. He said the city will now initiate talks of buying the $15 million development rights back.
“If they’re not able or there’s issues that they’re finding since this is their first development that is holding them from getting development started, I think it’s an opportune time to start looking at the option of buying that right back and giving that back to the public,” Mayor Peduto said