Since 2002, when four Pittsburgh foundations bought the site, many studies and plans have come and gone for the massive former J&L/LTV steel mill property in Hazelwood.
With a plan in place and big things happening, the site known as Almono was in need of a new name.
“I want to welcome you not to the Almono site, but to Hazelwood,” said Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, at a press conference Friday morning.
To indicate its essential connectedness to the surrounding neighborhood, Almono will now be known as “Hazelwood Green.”
“We are here to celebrate a new beginning, for this site and the neighborhood,” said Almono LLC Project Director Rebecca Flora.
“I believe the neighborhood is going to embrace it because Hazelwood is in it,” said Rev. Tim Smith, of Hazelwood-based community empowerment nonprofit Center of Life.
This begins the official direct marketing efforts to bring businesses to the site. (You can probably guess the big target; starts with an “A”). The plan is to include thousands of housing units, light manufacturing, offices, and research and development space connected both to the Monongahela River and Hazelwood’s Second Avenue business district. Estimates range up to $1 billion for the entire 178-acre site’s total buildout.
The massive Mill 19 building is already fully under construction. Its rooftop “skin” is being removed and office/research space will be constructed underneath its towering superstructure.
Riverfront trails and greenspace are an essential part of the development and another announcement was about a park. “It’s a 2.5-acre space, off the ‘side porch’ of the Mill 19 building,” said Flora.
It’s been a long process for Hazelwood Green but stakeholders feel the time invested will be worth it.
“Development for the sake of development wasn’t good enough anymore,” said Mayor Bill Peduto, who has long advocated for a new name that would include Hazelwood.
The entire site is seeking LEED for Neighborhood Development certification, which prioritizes reuse of urban land, to indicate the highest standards of environmentally sustainable development.