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New Project On Civic Arena Site Aims To Reconnect Hill District To Downtown

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When construction began on the Civic Arena in the late 1950s, it was considered historic.

It would be an arena with a retractable dome. Now the site where the arena once stood is making history again.

"Fifty years ago the Urban Renewal that took place here really destroyed a nice legacy in a lot of ways," said Gov. Tom Wolf.

"A half-century ago, when 8,000 people were displaced and 400 business were displaced in the name of urban renewal and it didn't work out the way a lot of folks wanted it to, we're connecting the Hill District to downtown," said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

But today signals a new beginning as the first step of reconnecting the Hill District to downtown gets underway.

By rebuilding the infrastructure on the 20-plus acres of land and reconnecting the Hill District's main streets, the stage will be set to begin construction on US Steel's new corporate headquarters, new housing and retail shops.

"Over the past year, we have looked for a way that goes beyond just one building," said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, "beyond brick and mortar, looking for ways to see the wealth that will be developed in this development."

And for the Hill District that should mean new growth too.

"We have to make sure jobs, education and training are real and meet people where they are," said Marimba Milliones with the Hill District Community Development Corp. "We have to make sure training opportunities are real."

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