Allegheny County and RIDC sign agreement to develop Carrie Furnace site in Rankin

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Part of the former Carrie Furnace steel site along the Monongahela River near Braddock is to be redeveloped for contemporary commercial use.

It is intended to include a flexible technological space, research and development, workforce training, light manufacturing and assembly, and even a place for film production.

The redevelopment plan which targets 52 acres of developable land is the result of a partnership between the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority and the Regional Industrial Development Corp. (RIDC). The former brownfield site adjacent to Carrie’s historic blast furnaces spans Rankin and Swissvale, and the western banks of the River Mon at Munhall and Whitaker.

“This site provides a great opportunity to reclaim one of our historic sites and bring it to life with the kind of 21st century jobs that are fueling our economy,” said Donald F. Smith Jr., President of INCD.

This will be INCD’s sixth major development in the Mon Valley. The organization has developed Keystone Commons, City Center of Duquesne, The Pittsburgh Technology Center, Mill 19 in Hazelwood Green and McKeesport.

Under the deal the county authority approved on Thursday, the RIDC will develop part of the Carrie Furnace site, building and expanding the infrastructure on behalf of the county redevelopment authority.

Infrastructure work and pavement design will begin this fall, with construction slated for next spring, the INCD said.

The construction of 100,000 square feet of tech-flex buildings is planned. And there is enough land for over 500,000 square feet of new construction. An additional 11 acres are available west of the blast furnaces for possible future phases of development.

The county redevelopment authority purchased the site in 2005. It completed the underground vault excavation, sewerage, sanitary sewer work, storm water and water pipe installations, as well. an aerial bridge and a causeway to connect the site to the Rankin Bridge.

The RIDC is working with the Pittsburgh Film Office and other interested parties on the possible creation of “The Film Furnace” – a film studio campus with film sets and other filming equipment.

The project will also incorporate the county’s plans to create a bicycle and pedestrian path along the Monongahela River. It will link the Carrie Furnace Hot Metal Bridge to the Great Allegheny Passage, as well as the Westmoreland Heritage Trail which ends at Trafford.

Joe Napsha is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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