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Tube City Center opens in storied Daily News building in McKeesport

Megan Guza
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Megan Guza
McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko speaks at the grand re-opening of the former Daily News building in Downtown McKeesport on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. The building, shuttered when the newspaper closed in late 2015, is now the Tube City Center for Business and Innovation, and tenants so far include the Mon Valley Independent, Tube City Media and the District Attorney’s Mon Valley Support Center, among others.

The storied Daily News building in downtown McKeesport came back to life Monday with the grand opening of the Tube City Center, a multi-use, co-working space that will bring, among other things, media coverage back to the city.

Trib Total Media donated the building to the city in late 2017, about two years after it stopped production of the McKeesport Daily News.

Mayor Michael Cherepko said he and state Sen. Jim Brewster shared the same goal from the very beginning: To keep the doors open.

“We knew that someday, we would be here doing this – we believed that,” Cherepko said.

The city, however, could not afford to buy the building. Cherepko said that’s when Trib Total Media President and CEO Jennifer Bertetto stepped in.

“Through their generosity, we were able to purchase the building for the price of a whopping $1,” he said.

The first tenants include the District Attorney’s Mon Valley Support Center, the Mon Valley Independent, Tube City Community Media and Flashover Fire Apparatus and Equipment. Point Park University’s Center for Media Innovation will also have a presence in the building.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said his office’s presence will be multi-pronged, including acting as a warrant and arraignment office. The DA’s detectives will work with more than two dozen police departments in the Mon Valley, and the space will act as a training center as well.

Andrew Conte, director of the Center for Media Innovation, said the closure of the Daily News left a void and many wondering who would tell the city’s stories.

“We at Point Park want to be a part of that,” he said. “We want to help the people of McKeesport tell their stories, tell these stories.”

Brewster also secured state funding to expand the Great Allegheny Passage trail and repair the nearby parking garage to not only help the Tube City Center’s tenants, but to draw more people to the local trail system.

“This is incredibly exciting news for the region,” Brewster said. “The expansion of the trail, coupled with the new energy and activity at the center – including excellent access to nearby parking – creates even more commercial opportunities in the city.”

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.