Allegheny County's next big development could be on a 195-acre plot of land next to Pittsburgh International Airport. County and airport officials want the site to be home to a World Trade Center.
The finished project would consist of a hotel, more than one million square feet of office space, research buildings, and approximately six jet hangars with ramps leading to a taxiway. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said such a development is crucial to Pittsburgh and its role in today's world.
"We think that's the best use to develop jobs and to capitalize on economic development. We are becoming and we have become an international city, a city of international trade," Fitzgerald said. This would also provide an opportunity for several organizations throughout the region to reaffirm their presence and promote international business.
The Airport Authority is seeking a $15 million grant from the state to clean up and prepare the land for construction, which was at one time used for coal mining. The total preparation cost is an estimated $32 million.
Fitzgerald said they will highlight certain aspects of the project to ensure they receive the grant. "Because it is an international airport and it's a state-of-the-art facility, it has a lot of great qualities that people are looking for to locate near an airport," Fitzgerald said.
He added site preparation would begin quickly if they receive the grant. "We would hope within or by the end of the year that, if we got awarded, we could begin the project," Fitzgerald said. However, clean up could take up to three years before construction could begin.
After its completion, the complex would be licensed and recognized as a World Trade Center by the World Trade Center Association.