To realize the Almono LLC vision and achieve the development expectations, the site’s master development plan (Plan) will provide a core framework with flexible programming and development approaches to make the site adaptive to fast shifting externalities. Almono LLC is intending to update the current master plan of record to include a performance-based approach to accommodate a range of densities and intensity of uses from approximately 6.0 to 10.7 million sf depending on the program mix. The Plan for the site is being prepared by Perkins +Will (P+W), with contributions from ReMake Group and Civic Design and Planning, and is in the final stages of completion. It will be submitted to the City for approvals in January 2018, along with an updated mobility analysis and SP-10 zoning text revisions.
Another core element of the Plan is the public realm that threads throughout the site. Nearly 20% of the total acres are reserved for public space, how the public engages and interacts with this space will be important for the success of the project. In such, the mobility to and around the site is focusing on prioritizing pedestrian and bicycle access and safety with consideration of Vision Zero elements. However, a complementary component to encouraging pedestrian and bicycle access is transit – bus, rail, aerial gondola, rideshare, demand-based service – whatever the future modes avail to the region, the Plan will be looking beyond single occupancy vehicles.
Finally, the entire plan for the site has been designed to meet LEED for Neighborhood Development Plan standards. The Plan has been registered with USGBC and is expected to reach Gold certification in 2018. A LEED ND Plan is the Hazelwood Green site's baseline for meeting sustainability standards, other aspects that go beyond LEED include the integration of elements of the Living Community Challenge and WELL Community Standard, along with utilization of Pittsburgh’s own p4 Performance Measures to evaluate development proposals.
One of the three remaining buildings on site, the Roundhouse was built in 1887. Directly outside of the building is an old turntable that was used to turn train cars around. The building itself has been used over the years for a number of purposes, including some early artificial intelligence, robotics work by CMU students.
The oldest of the remaining buildings on site, the Pump House was built in 1870 to pump water from the Monongahela River to serve development and industrial processes at the time. Today, the building sits along the Monongahela adjacent to other relics of the site’s industrial past, inspiring many with its potential as a future riverfront amenity.
Mill 19 was built circa 1943 by Jones & Laughlin to house munitions production during World War II. Following the war, it became a rolling mill, producing 10” bar steel. In the 1970’s when LTV Steel took control of the building it was then used to store coke oven brick. Mill 19 is approximately 100 feet wide and 1,200 feet long.
The building is currently owned and under development by RIDC. It is in early stages of construction for the first phase (of three), with a completion date of Spring 2019 for Phase A, which is approximately 90,000 sf of Mill 19’s approximately 270,000 sf of future development. Carnegie Mellon University’s Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute will be the anchor tenant for this first phase.
The Plaza is a future 2-acre public space on the southern end of Mill 19. The Hazelwood Green Project Team has begun conceptualization of its first public space to create a sense of place, connect neighborhood residents to the site, and serve as a place of gathering and activation for everyone that uses the site. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design teams was released on November 20, 2017, with an exception to have a design team on board by early spring 2018. Construction of the Plaza is expected to begin before the end of 2018, with completion scheduled for 2019.
Results of preliminary engagement for the Plaza can be found in the Summary of Ideas from the Big Tent Event in October of 2017.
The adjacency to the Monongahela river is the site’s most precious natural asset – direct access to the water’s edge and its ecological and navigational systems. Barge-sized docking piers and the Pump House formerly utilized by the steel mill also provide adaptive reuse commercial and recreational opportunities. The cycle trail on the upper edge of the river connects both recreational users and commuters to Hazelwood, South Side (and the 335-mile Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Towpath to Washington D.C.), Downtown and Oakland. The many opportunities presented by the Almono site’s 1.2 miles of riverfront will require a collaborative approach to realize the full potential of this regional asset. This river “front door” of the site also provides site users with views of downtown, the water, and green hillsides across the river, including the recent acquisition of 660-acres by the City for preservation in Hays.
THE SURROUNDING AREA
The site’s development will both catalyze investment within its underserved neighborhood of Hazelwood, and draw from the deep history and culture that remains intact through the community and the physical fabric of the neighborhood. The site makes up approximately 18% of the total land area of Hazelwood and intends to continue to work collaboratively with neighborhood organizations to ensure that the development creates opportunities for those who live there. Additionally, the community is currently in the process of developing their first comprehensive neighborhood plan – Greater Hazelwood: Our Hands. Our Plan.