Kevin Acklin

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

A Bus Rapid Transit, or BRT system has been in the works in one form or another for more than a decade in Pittsburgh. It has been hailed as a way to make public transportation more efficient and more appealing, as well as a means to support economic growth in the region.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The board of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to approve a deal for the redevelopment of the Produce Terminal in the Strip District. The vote cleared the way for developer McCaffery Interests to take a long-term lease on the building.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A contract to redevelop the Strip District’s Produce Terminal building is close to being finalized, city officials said Wednesday.

Dan Gilman, the mayor’s chief of staff, said it’s a complex deal but the parties were working through some critical final details with developer Dan McCaffery of McCaffery Interests.

“And Dan has to get his numbers to work,” Gilman said. “We’re asking for a significant investment of his money and the public’s money into this.”

The project is expected to cost $62.6 million.

Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved a measure Thursday to help fund new affordable housing units near PPG Paints Arena. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

In 2016, the city's Affordable Housing Task Force concluded Pittsburgh had a shortage of at least 15,000 low income units. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Bill Peduto marked the beginning of his second term as mayor of Pittsburgh at an inauguration ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland Wednesday. In a speech, he emphasized his goal to make Pittsburgh “a city for all” that encourages economic development while also preserving existing communities.

While economic growth has come with concerns about housing affordability and access to jobs and good schools, Peduto said, the city’s resiliency with the rise and fall of the steel industry shows it has the capacity to solve these problems.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Over the course of 2017, the long-discussed development of a 28-acre parcel in the Lower Hill District moved one step closer to realization.

After months of negotiation, the Penguins organization—which holds exclusive development rights to the land—the city, Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority agreed to new development terms in December.

Just how long the site has been on its way to shovels in the ground is measured best in decades rather than years.

daveynin / flickr

The Urban Redevelopment Authority has entered into exclusive negotiations to sell the Hunt Armory in Shadyside to three local developers.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

When Bill Peduto is sworn in to his second term as mayor of Pittsburgh Jan. 3, Kevin Acklin will no longer be his chief of staff. 

Acklin, a corporate attorney, announced last week he’s returning to the private sector.

But Peduto is not only losing his chief of staff. Over the last four years, Acklin also served as the city’s chief economic development officer.

“It's hard to replace someone that's irreplaceable,” Peduto said. 

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

UPDATED: 4: 27 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

Kevin Acklin, Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, is stepping down in January.

In a letter to Peduto dated Dec. 7, Acklin called the position “a dream job” and told the Mayor it had “been an honor to work alongside you these past four years to rebuild a city government that our residents deserve.”

Read Acklin's full resignation letter here

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board has voted to move forward with an amended development deal between the city and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. The proposal narrowly passed three to two, with Councilman Daniel Lavelle and former state Senator Jim Ferlo voting against the deal. Lavelle represents the Hill District.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Thursday to give the city 555 acres of Hays Woods land so it can become a park.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

A decision on the Penguins’ amended development plan for the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill has been delayed until next week.

While the Sports and Exhibition Authority of Allegheny County approved the new plan, it still needs approval from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

URA Chairman Kevin Acklin acknowledged the new plan wasn’t circulated to board members until late Wednesday night for a Thursday vote. At the request of City Councilman Lavelle, who also sits on the URA board, Acklin did not ask for a vote.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority can fix its delivery systems, manage its debt, and provide clean, safe drinking water while remaining under public control, according to recommendations from consultant Infrastructure Management Group, Inc.

KitAy / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh has reached a tentative deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board voted Thursday in a special meeting to extend the Penguins' deadline to begin development on the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill by another two weeks.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images

It was Sept. 7. A quick glance at the morning’s headlines revealed President Donald Trump had made a debt ceiling deal with Democratic leaders.

Irina Zhorov / Keystone Crossroads

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would allow the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to replace the private side of residential lead service lines when it is also replacing the public side.

Google.com

The Peduto administration is hoping a recently passed program aimed at reducing the number of unused properties held by the federal government will help the city take control of the former VA site on Washington Boulevard.

Pittsburgh wants to take control of the unused VA site and convert it into a first responder training facility and a storage area for heavy equipment

David Goldman / AP Photo

Like many municipalities in Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh’s water system faces significant structural challenges, from aging infrastructure to ongoing concerns about lead in the city’s drinking water.

To address them, Mayor Bill Peduto kicked off the process of evaluating Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), with the goal of restructuring.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Donald Trump's budget plan, released Thursday morning, clarifies his spending priorities and calls for cuts in several departments, which local and state leaders said will negatively impact residents.  

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 FM WESA

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission rejected plans to redevelop the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, saying not enough public input was given. Last week, the developer filed an appeal saying there had been ample opportunity for public input.

Before the appeal was filed, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief of staff Kevin Acklin said the administration stood behind the commission’s decision and will stay involved.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

At nearly five city blocks long, the Pennsylvania Fruit and Auction, known to locals as the Produce Terminal, is hard to miss. It sits along Smallman Street between 16th and 20th and seems to watch over the business on Penn Avenue.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program.

Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin behind the headlines for an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority is paying for what will be the third round of environmental testing of the former Civic Arena site.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Eric Luster grew up in a three-bedroom 1920s-era home on a quiet dead end street in Homewood. It was a self-described good childhood, but he thought he would have a better future in Atlanta, Ga., so he moved out of town to raise his five children.

City of Pittsburgh

Municipal officials hope to submit a final “green first” plan for dealing with the region’s stormwater management problem to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by the end of this year.

The plan relies heavily on green infrastructure, which involves planting trees and restoring the natural water cycle.

Future Plans For The Produce Terminal Approved

Apr 15, 2016
Wikipedia

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority board voted Thursday on a proposal to revitalize the Strip District produce terminal. We’ll learn about the results of the meeting and what this will mean for the future of the area from Kevin Acklin, URA board chairman and Mayor Peduto’s chief of staff. 

 

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

  Mayor Bill Peduto said the agreement between East Liberty developers and the more than 200 Penn Plaza residents they displaced sets a precedent for how the city will approach future deals that could encumber affordable housing.

Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin called efforts to extend eviction deadlines and financially assist with relocations the product of "good faith agreements."

Urban Redevelopment Authority

Pittsburgh changed street names in East Liberty almost two years ago to distance itself from the 1960s urban renewal project "Penn Circle," which displaced thousands of residents in favor of a pedestrian mall.  

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