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GROUNDBREAKING MARKS LAUNCH OF NEW DEVELOPMENT AT CARRIE FURNACE SITE
Pictured from Left to Right: Dawn Keezer, Pittsburgh Film Office Director; Donald F. Smith, Jr., RIDC President, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Congressman Mike Doyle.
Pittsburgh, PA—October 13, 2022—Federal, state, county and local officials and community leaders joined Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) and the Pittsburgh Film Office to break ground for the beginning of development at the historic Carrie Blast Furnace site.
The first phase of the project will include infrastructure work and construction on the core and shell of the first of two 60,000-square-foot speculative tech-flex industrial buildings. Plans are also being developed and design work is underway for a film studio at the site.
RIDC will acquire the land from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County as the project progresses and Rivers of Steel will continue maintaining the existing furnace structures as a national historic site, showcasing southwestern Pennsylvania’s industrial and cultural heritage, through its historical and 21st-century attractions—offering unique experiences as arts and event spaces.
Financing for the infrastructure and initial building, totaling nearly $20 million, includes a combination of public and private grants and loans and equity provided by RIDC.
The property includes 55 acres of developable land, which would accommodate an estimated 550,000-600,000-square-feet of new construction. An additional 11 acres are available west of the furnaces for a potential future phase of development.
“We are looking forward to creating another impactful, job creating development in the Mon Valley,” said Donald F. Smith, Jr., RIDC President. “Just as our Mill 19 project at Hazelwood Green has become a symbol of Pittsburgh’s history meeting its future, the Carrie Furnace site has the potential to become a similarly notable regional landmark. As with projects like Keystone Commons, City Center of Duquesne, The Pittsburgh Technology Center, and the Industrial Center of McKeesport, we’re honoring Pittsburgh’s history while transforming properties to attract companies and bring in the types of jobs that are revitalizing our economy.”
“As someone who watched our communities suffer from the decline of the steel industry, I’ve worked hard to create good-paying new jobs and put abandoned industrial sites like Carrie Furnace back into productive use,” said Congressman Mike Doyle. “I’ve been working for a number of years to help redevelop the Carrie Furnace site by, for example, securing federal funding for the flyover ramp that makes the productive re-use of this site possible – and by including three million dollars in the House’s 2023 spending bill for the construction of a film production facility here. I’m very pleased that today we’re breaking ground on the first phase of this important project.”
“I’m proud to support yet another landmark revitalization project in the Mon Valley,” said State Senator Jay Costa. “The redevelopment of the Carrie Furnace site is in good hands, and I’m excited to see it take this first step toward realizing its full potential as a center of gravity for jobs and a community asset.”
“We’re extremely excited to see this partnership take flight and to celebrate today’s groundbreaking,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “The Carrie Furnace site has long been a priority for redevelopment, and we’re thrilled to see the beginning seeds of that work.”
“We’re grateful to be partnering with the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County on this hallmark project and to receive continuing support and investment from the Congress, State and County,” said Timothy White, Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategy. “Massive, catalytic, revitalization projects like this one don’t happen in isolation, and they don’t happen without government support.”
“The Pittsburgh Film Office is incredibly excited about this monumental step towards further progress in our region,” said Dawn Keezer, Pittsburgh Film Office Director. “The groundbreaking signifies a bright vision for the future for the growing screen sector in southwestern Pennsylvania. We are so grateful for our partnership with RIDC and Allegheny County to create an innovative space which will improve the surrounding communities with new business vendors, increased tax potential, and job prospects for the residents. Today is a terrific day – years in the making, this project bridges the history of the region with great hope for the future!”
Also, using $9.2 million in federal stimulus funds, the county’s plans to create a riverside pedestrian and bike trail along the Monongahela River and connect the Carrie Furnace Hot Metal Bridge to the Great Allegheny Passage, as well as to the Westmoreland Heritage Trail via the Turtle Creek Valley, are moving forward.
The phased development will have portions for various commercial uses, including flex-tech, R&D, biotech, film production, workforce education and training, life sciences, light manufacturing and assembly, and other similar uses. RIDC is working with the Pittsburgh Film Office and other interested parties on creating The Film Furnace – a film studio campus with purpose built sound stages and other amenities.
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The mission of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) is to catalyze and support economic growth and high-quality job creation through real estate development and finance of projects that advance the public interest. A not-for-profit entity, RIDC owns over 2,800 acres of land in industrial parks and manages over 50 buildings.
Pittsburgh Business Times – RIDC, Pittsburgh Film Office join local officials to celebrate development launch at Carrie Furnace site
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – A star is born? Carrie Furnaces site eyed as campus for the region’s film industry