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Vote schedule on plans for proposed music venue and parking garage at Civic Arena site

Pittsburgh Penguins looking to develop proposed live music venue
Pittsburgh Penguins looking to develop proposed live music venue 02:29

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It's the hotly contested next step in the historic redevelopment of the Lower Hill: the Pittsburgh Penguins hope to secure a "yes" vote Thursday to develop a proposed live music venue. 

The vote comes just one day after a big job fair in the Hill District, intended to introduce job-seeking residents to the trades. The very people applying for apprenticeships Wednesday could end up on the construction sites just a few feet away. 

The big vote Thursday is about what happens with the land at the corner of Logan and Wylie. Right now, there are a lot of cars parked there. But we will know Thursday about the balance between development and community benefits. Some say the community benefits are there with the development of every single block of property, but others say they want more than a verbal agreement that the community is going to benefit.

A music venue and parking garage could soon be at the old site of the Civic Arena. 

"I'm going to say that because Councilman Lavelle, who is our city councilman, he knows the ins and outs of this project and he has expressed that he will support, I feel confident that he will support. But I also feel confident the entire URA will support because we've been doing what we said we would do," said Dr. Kimberly Ellis, the director of community, arts and culture at The Buccini/Pollin Group.

But Marimba Milliones, the president and CEO of Hill CDC, says the developer The Buccini/Pollin Group has not fulfilled several promises to the community.

"The Hill CDC continues to advocate in final hours to ensure protections for the Hill District community. As of this hour, there are still a number of outstanding conditions that need to be fulfilled. More will be available tomorrow after the vote," she said in a statement.

Ellis says her employer, the developer, will make good on its promises. 

"When it comes to workforce development, we're here and we actually chose the date, we thought we were going to be well past the URA vote, so this was not in alignment with 'let's try to impress the URA the day before we vote,'" said Ellis.

Job seekers took time on Wednesday to introduce themselves to leaders from all the local trade unions. No matter the result of Thursday's vote, two young men there see the construction happening around them and want to get to work. 

"They're real supportive: my mom, my brother, my friends. I tell them all about it and they really believe in me and so that makes me believe in myself much more," said Lavar Crumbley, a student at Imani Christian Academy.

"My mom is real proud and my father is real proud so I am just trying to make them very happy and proud of me," said Daevon Lavelle, another Imani Christian Academy student. 

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