Hazelwood Green is the quintessential Pittsburgh story of reclamation and reinvention to prepare for another chapter in its long history of global leadership in innovation. In September 2017, the report, Capturing the Next Economy: Pittsburgh’s Rise as a Global Innovation City was released by the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces, in which Pittsburgh’s resilience and ability to rebound from an 18% unemployment rate in the 1980s was highlighted. However, the report also notes that the city’s success or failure is dependent on the speed and scale of action by public, private, and civic leaders to develop a robust platform for jobs at all skill levels through the investment in transportation, workforce development, infrastructure, and neighborhood revitalization.
Hazelwood Green is located at a nexus of opportunity given its proximity to the economic engine of universities located within the greater Oakland neighborhoods and its adjacency to the existing Greater Hazelwood neighborhood, which contains a strong urban fabric primed for reinvestment.The site serves as a place where research and industry will co-locate, start-ups will have room for growth, and the resulting investments will create employment opportunities for all skill levels. Economic growth will be further supported through the provision of nearby housing options, business district amenities, and immediate connections to natural amenities that exist on the site and within the neighborhood. A synergistic relationship between the site and its neighborhood is imperative to the success of both.
Interest in the site has risen dramatically over the past year, not the least of which is due to the decision to locate the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) and CMU’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative (MFI) in the first phase (94,000 SF) of RIDC’s Mill 19 building. At full build-out, the Mill 19 building structure is expected to house 260,000 SF of new construction under its historic steel frame.
A combination of start-up companies that are ready to migrate to larger space and larger companies currently in suburban locations that require an urban location to attract talent have expressed interest in the site. National and global development interests are increasing as Pittsburgh continues to be seen as a good investment opportunity. InnovatePGH is currently coordinating efforts too accelerate Pittsburgh's status as a global innovation city.
Multiple companies have expressed interest in locating on the site, with the proximity to the universities being the number one factor along with the overall vision for the site. As the largest seed stage investor in Southwestern Pennsylvania and one of the most active in the country, Innovation Work’s growth in investment activity is a clear indicator of local interest and demand within the technology sector.
- $687 million invested in Pittsburgh technology companies in 2017 (largest in at least 10 years)
- $3.5 billion invested over the past ten years; $2.1 billion in the past five years
- $340.2 million VC invested in Pittsburgh companies in 2017
- $105.5 million local VC supply currently uncommitted
- Technology licenses granted more than doubled from 2008 to 2017
- Number of new patents more than tripled in the same perio
There are a total of 35 colleges and universities in the Pittsburgh region, with 41,000 degrees awarded annually, and 165,000+ students enrolled annually. According to Bruce Katz, former centennial scholar at the Brookings Institute, “Few cities are home to such a naturally occurring innovation district as Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood – the 1.7 square-mile district constitutes one-third of the entire state of Pennsylvania’s university research and development output.” Oakland is home to Pittsburgh’s largest university powerhouses, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, with statistics to back up their impact.
- $1.2 billion combined annual research & development spending
- 9th largest in the U.S.
- 2.5 times the national average. Higher than Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
- Carnegie Mellon University
- 1st Best Computer Science Graduate Program, U.S. News and World Report
- 5th Best Business School, Wall Street Journal
- 22nd Best University in the World, London Times
- Top 10 in Video Game Development
- University of Pittsburgh
- Top 5 National Institutes of Health (NIH) dollars
- Top Value among Public PA Universities, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
- 47th Best Global University, U.S. News & World Report
- Best Business School Value in the U.S.; 8th Best in the World, Financial Times