The site's history
Up to the 1950's
Originally purchased in 1758 from Native Americans in the Stanwix Treaty, the site saw little development until 1861, with the first railroad through the area. Shortly thereafter, Jones & Laughlin Steel Company (J&L Company) built their first industrial plants along the Monongahela River in 1883. With plants along both sides of the River, on the South Side and in Hazelwood, the site became an industrial hub. Further development of the area included important infrastructure investments, such as the construction of the Hot Metal Bridge in 1884 to connect the two plants owned and run by J&L Company. During WWII, the area was producing so much steel that the Hot Metal Bridge was the second most heavily guarded piece of infrastructure in the United States. Three key artifacts will be carried forward with the site’s future use and programming: the Roundhouse, the Mill 19, and the Pump House, built in 1887, 1943, circa 1870, respectively.
DECLINE OF THE STEEL INDUSTRY
FROM 1950 TO 1998
During its peak, J&L had roughly 12,000 workers between their South Side and Hazelwood sites, with the adjacent Hazelwood neighborhood growing to reach a peak population of 13,000 residents in 1960. Following the decline of Pittsburgh’s steel town heyday, Hazelwood Works employed only 3,600 workers when Ling-Temco-Vought Incorporation (LTV) purchased the site in 1974. Despite the sale, the plants closed and ended operations just over two decades later, in 1997, signaling the end of old industry on the site. By 1998, only 6,000 residents remained in Hazelwood.
1999 to 2002
Evolving from the 1999 Riverlife Task Force vision to create a master plan for Pittsburgh’s urban waterfront, the foundations realized an opportunity to ensure the success and revitalization of a huge portion of the city’s waterfront through the large, vacant brownfield site. In 2002, Almono LP was formed by four Pittsburgh foundations (today, Almono is comprised of three foundations) to purchase the Hazelwood site from a bankrupt LTV for $10 million. This incredible foresight, ensured that the site could be land banked for a thoughtful redevelopment vision that could benefit the neighborhood, city, and region as a whole.
STUDIES, PLANNING, & REMEDIATION
2002 to 2015
From 2002 to 2015, RIDC served as the sole member of Almono LLC, the general partner. During this time, a significant amount of environmental remediation and site prep occurred on the site, to ensure Act II compliance and meet clean-up requirements. Additionally, roughly a dozen studies, neighborhood plans, and vision plans were been developed for the site. Resulting in the City approved Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP) in 2013. The PLDP was submitted as part of the creation of a Specially Planned (SP) district on the site – SP-10 Zoning Text – that outlines the process and intention for the development. Also during this time a handful of events and activities took place on the site, including: the 2015 Thrival Festival, temporary urban forestry, spillover lab space for CMU students and professors (including early days of CMU Robotics and their DARPA challenge testing), and bringing on Uber with their test track as one of the site's early tenants.
MOVING FORWARD & TODAY
2016 to present
Following a management change, the site was renamed - Hazelwood Green - and is moving forward with a new Plan and a Zoning amendment and SP-10 Zoning Text finalized and approved in late 2018. In April 2019, the two main streets on site - Hazelwood Avenue & Blair Street - were dedicated to the City and the site (including a public mixed-use trail) was opened to public access for the first time in a century. Today, the team is moving forward with selecting an Integrated Energy Service Provider, completion of the site's Main Street - Lytle Street, and the construction of the site's first public space - the Plaza, while soliciting interest from potential developers, tenants, and residents.