Penguins Choose Residential Developer for Former Civic Arena Site

The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team has selected St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar as the lead residential developer for the site of the former Civic Arena.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team has selected St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar as the lead residential developer for the site of the former Civic Arena.

The company plans to build a minimum of 800 residential units over the next 8-10 years. The first phase of the project, which is expected to break ground in 2015, will bring between 200 and 300 units to the city’s Lower Hill district.

“It’s an exciting day because the much-anticipated redevelopment of the Civic Arena site will take another step toward becoming a reality,” David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Pittsburgh Penguins said in a news release. “McCormack Baron Salazar is the perfect partner, not only because of its reputation as a premier urban residential developer but also because of its wealth of experience and success in Pittsburgh and the region.”

McCormack’s other developments in the city include the Crawford Square, The Legacy and Bedford Hill Hope IV in the Hill District, as well as the Fairfield Apartments in East Liberty.

The Penguins have also announced they would work with the Hill District community over the next few months to identify and select a minority-owned firm to develop a minimum of 200 additional residential units on the publicly owned site.

Overall, the team’s master plan for the former Civic Arena site calls for a mixed-use project with 1,100 residential units, 250,000 square feet of retail and 600,000 square feet of office space.  

The Penguins won the development rights for the 28-acre property in 2007, via an option agreement as part of their lease for CONSOL Energy Center. The demolition of the arena, nicknamed “The Igloo,” was completed last spring. Only about 20 acres are considered developable, while the remaining portion of the site will be used for infrastructure. Under the terms of the deal, the team has the obligation to purchase 10 percent of the developable land per year (approximately two acres) over a 10-year period, starting in October 2014.

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons