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City's Planning Commission Approves 1st Phase Of Development For Lower Hill District

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Big changes are coming to Pittsburgh's Lower Hill District.

On Tuesday, the city's Planning Commission approved the first phase of development, which includes the 26-story First National Bank financial center.

It is a construction job with a dream of urban redevelopment on a larger scale. It is a dream the Pittsburgh Penguins have worked on for a long time.

Plans for a mixed development space began with the soon-to-be-completed park over Interstate 579 and will continue on the site of the former Civic Arena.

The Penguins and partners want to transform the 28-acre site, and the FNB tower — with its office and retail spaces — is the beginning of the expansion to include the Middle and Upper Hill.

While the Penguins' dreams include a large parking garage and a music venue, the bigger dream is to create investments in housing, job creation, scholarship opportunities and help for minority-owned businesses.

The Hill Community Development Corporation has been pushing for more than just temporary construction jobs. The group wants a total transformation of the community.

Expect some sort of new construction this summer.

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