City Reviewing New Plan For Penn Plaza Site, Public Meetings To Follow

Dec 18, 2017

The developer of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty has submitted a revised plan for its development.

A previous version of the plan from Pennley Park South, Inc., an affiliate of LG Realty Advisors, Inc., included a Whole Foods market along with apartments and office space. That plan was rejected by the planning commission and drew public outcry. Whole Foods cited community concerns when it decided to suspend its involvement on the site.

Pennley Park South, Inc. signed a consent order with the city and four neighborhood groups at the end of October, resolving a lawsuit related to that initial rejection.

On Dec. 1, Pennley Park South, Inc. submitted a Revised Amendment to its Preliminary Land Development Plan (RAPLDP). Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning has until close of business on Dec. 20 to review the RAPLDP and determine whether it is complete, according to guidelines set out by the consent order.

A city spokesperson said if it is determined to be incomplete, the department will request further revisions and additions.

Once judged complete, the city has 10 business days to schedule two public meetings, where the entire plan will be subject to public input.

The plan will also be added to the Planning Commission’s agenda.

President of LG Realty Advisors, Inc. Lawrence Gumberg wrote in an email that “more communication is better.”

“We hope to learn more about the kinds of jobs neighborhood residents are looking for and how this development can help them,” he wrote. “We’re committed to paying prevailing wages and hiring women and minority-owned businesses through all of the planning and construction phases.”

The development is expected to direct more than $4 million into an affordable housing fund and provide for the redesign and upkeep of the two-acre Enright Park. Some housing activists are skeptical that the development will benefit low-income residents