PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– From the time the Pirates went east and the Steelers went west from Three Rivers Stadium there has been the promise of development between the two North Shore sporting venues.
While the development has come at a snail’s pace in a cyber-speed world Mayor Bill Peduto says the climate has changed.
“There is no shortage of developers willing to build housing, offices and commercial properties, and there are people to actually move in.”
So off to the development races we go.
With confetti flying and dirt tossing from ceremonial shovels the Rivers Casino officially launched construction of its long anticipated hotel.
Rivers Casino General Manager Bill Keena says he hopes to have actually construction underway, “this month. If not then by early next month and I hope to have it open by early 2021.”
The $60 million dollar hotel will feature 219 rooms, 10 luxury suites, a contemporary seven story design directly tied into the casino.
Rivers CEO Greg Carlin says it will be a four star hotel, “I stay at all the North Shore hotels and they are nice but this is going to be the nicest hotel on the North Shore.”
On the other side of the casino and West End Bridge Lucas Piatt’s Esplanade featuring a Ferris wheel, aquarium, condos, apartments, a full service hotel and a trademark legume is moving forward.
Piatt says, “We’re hoping to start construction next year in 2020. Completion would be about two to three years afterwards.”
Mayor Peduto says on the east side of the casino, “You have Carnegie science parking lot that’s being developed which will include a parking garage and multi-use.”
Changes are also coming in the already developed portion of North Shore Drive.
The former Tilted Kilt is becoming a new concept called Shorty’s.
It will feature ‘pints and pins’ with duck pin bowling the centerpiece. Shorty’s is expected to open by the baseball season.
Just a block away in the first floor of the new SAP building Ben Roethlisberger will be setting up his new restaurant with a target opening of football season a year from now.
There has been a lot of talk about turning parking lot #2 behind the Post-Gazette building into a parking garage.
Mayor Peduto says the approach has changed, “We’d like to see housing developed in that site.”
The negotiations are down to ‘I’ dotting and ‘t’ crossing on the future of Lot 4. That is the parking lot Honus Wagner gazes into from his perch outside PNCPark’s main entrance.
The current plan is for retail and restaurant space on the first floor and 35-40 residential units above.
Sports and Exhibition Authority Chairman Senator Wayne Fontana says, “I think you are going to see work soon, I’d say within the next six months or so.”
The mayor expects everything between the stadiums to be up and completed in the next three to four years. But he’s not interested in stopping there.
Eventually Mayor Peduto envisions a seamless North Shore from the 16th Street Bridge on the Allegheny to the Pittsburgh line down the Ohio River beyond the old Western Penitentiary.
Next he wants to capitalize on the views of the Point on the South Side of the confluence west of Station Square.