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Tax incentives for 2 Strip District developments move forward |

Tax incentives for 2 Strip District developments move forward

Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
The back of the Strip District's landmark Produce Terminal is shown in this file photo from September 2016.

Tax incentives for two Strip District projects are moving forward, while county, city and school officials plan to meet to discuss what they should consider when approving such incentives.

Allegheny County Council on Tuesday evening voted unanimously to approve Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance for an office building set to be built on a parking lot at the corner of Smallman and 16th streets.

The approval would give developer RDC Star LLC a break on a portion of property taxes on the building for up to 10 years to defray the cost of infrastructure improvements.

The incentive will not happen, however, unless Pittsburgh Public Schools’ board approves it, according to Bob Hurley, the county’s economic development director.

The school board is expected to consider the matter, but not necessarily vote, later this month, said Mercedes Howze, a school district spokeswoman.

Allegheny County Council also voted Tuesday to approve a committee to create a Tax Increment Finance plan for Chicago-based McCaffery Interests to redevelop the five-block-long Produce Terminal into office space, retail and parking.

That plan might also include redeveloping the warehouse at 1600 Smallman St., which houses a costume shop and night clubs, into retail space and a parking garage.

The committee, made up of county economic development staff and others, will then take the plan back to County Council and the school board for a vote.

TIFs are similar to LERTAs, but usually last longer than 10 years.

The tax incentives are meant to incentivize development in blighted areas, but have never been used in the Mon Valley and several other economically distressed areas , Councilman Bob Macey, D-West Mifflin, pointed out during a recent committee meeting .

The three taxing bodies — the city and county councils and the school board — are planning to hold a meeting to discuss what criteria they should be considering when deciding which incentive proposals to approve in the Strip District moving forward, said Councilman DeWitt Walton, D-Hill District.

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, [email protected] or via Twitter @tclift.

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