Block E, MWBE Contractor Appreciation & Garage Information Session, Community Reinvestment & More!
The Lower Hill District
News & Updates
Incredibly, the calendar reads December and we welcome the holiday season!
It is time to enjoy the fine company of friends, partners, family and loved ones. “CommUnity” is how Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey spells the word. It’s both an assertion of our relatedness and a call for us to do better, to hold each other accountable, to build the beloved community we would like to see and create it together. As construction of the FNB Financial Center on the Lower Hill rises higher and higher into the skyline, it represents the type of equitable development that is the objective of the Lower Hill Team, as we work to, literally, build the type of community we want to see—-with a wide of range of project stakeholders.
As we reflect on a busy end to Summer and a very full Fall for the Lower Hill team, we focused on making this newsletter jam-packed with information about CommUnity.
BLOCK E: Parking Garage & Music Venue
Dec. 14th | 5:30-7:30 PM | Energy Innovation Center
Dinner at 5:30 PM | Information Session at 6:00 PM
Join us for a celebration of the M/WBE businesses that have been critical to advancing the FNB Financial Center on "Block G" of the Lower Hill District redevelopment site and for an information session for contracting opportunities on the Block E parking garage & music venue.
Block E Contractor Info Session Builds on Inclusive Contracting Efforts to Date
One Foot In The Past, One Foot In The Present, And Both Eyes On The Future
Soon,we will embark on thenextphase oftheLower Hill District commercial development, Block E, which will include 900+ space parking garage and 4,500 person music venue, street-level retail space and community assets such as a retail business incubator. As we advance toward creating future opportunities with Block E, we also look back, and celebrate the M/WBE businesses that have been critical to advancing the FNB Financial Center on Block G.
Together,The Buccini/Pollin Group and partners of the Lower Hill Development team, have achieved impressive construction contracting commitments for FNB Financial Center, which is now 200feetin the air and growing taller withthecontinued installation of concrete and steel.
To date, our initial contracts are valued at nearly$100 millionandfeature:
$35 million in contracts for MBEs (representing 35% of total to date)
$24 million of which are Black-owned businesses (23% of total)
Approximately $8 million of the total contracts are for WBEs
Commitments to 42 different M/WBEs across 29 construction trades; commitments to 73 M/WBE’s across construction and pre-development
To participate in the upcoming Block E Info session:
Block E Parking Garage & Music Venue Advancing with Final Reviews and Approvals
Hill District Collaborative and Hill District Consensus Group Development Review Meeting
Over the past several months, the Lower Hill Development Team and lead architect,Desmone, have been presenting on the design of the Block E 900 space parking garage and music venue’s Final Land Development Plan (FLDP) and amendment to the approved Preliminary Land Development Plan (PLDP) both virtually and in person. After presenting to Historic Hill District and other city residents, business owners and stakeholders at an October 3rd in-person meeting with nearly 150 attendees, Block E received passing scores from The Hill District Consensus Group and Hill District Collaborative audience members as well as letters of support from those registered community organizations.Read more about the approval meeting hereanddownload the Community Reinvestment handoutprovided by the Lower Hill team. From the LERTA to the Housing Opportunity Fund to the Call for Artists and M/WBE status,see how“good things are flowing upHill!”
F.N.B. Is Banking On The Pittsburgh Promise
More Than Ever
F.N.B. Corporation, a partner in the Lower Hill team and anchor tenant in the FNB Financial Center, on Thursday, September 29, increased its total commitment to $1 million to the Pittsburgh Promise program. Five graduating Pittsburgh Public Schools seniors will be selected annually and named as the “F.N.B. Corporate Scholars of The Pittsburgh Promise.” They will have the opportunity to build mentoring and professional relationships with company leaders as they pursue their post-secondary degrees.
"Prepare-to-Prosper" Program Kicks off with the City and Pittsburgh Public Schools
(l to r) Pittsburgh School Superintendent, Wayne Walters, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Chief of Staff Jake Wheatley, Director of PPS-CTE Angela Mike and Mayor Ed Gainey.
We were delighted to attend Mayor Gainey’s announcement on September 16, of the “Prepare to Prosper” program – a new partnership between the City and Pittsburgh Public Schools’Career Technical Education Program, highlighting students focused on workforce development. Soon, they will move out of shadowing workers and begin paid internships not only with the city, but in other industries as well, according to Angela Mike, CTE’s Executive Director. The Lower Hill Redevelopment Team is one of forty organizations to have partnered with the PPS-CTE Program and held a“Career Exploration Day” event earlier this year at PPG Paints Arena.
Welcome to the Team Jessica Jefferies and Angel Reyes!
As our development grows in the Historic Hill District, so too does our team! We welcome Jessica Jeffries to BPG’s Pittsburgh office as Development Project Coordinator and Angel Reyes who joins BPG HQ as a Development and Acquisitions Financial Analyst.
Development Project Coordinator
Financial Analyst Development & Acquisitions
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS
AMAC Media & Co.
We are delighted to have Ms. Aaliyah McMullen, CEO and Founder ofAMacMedia & Co.join us as our new social media manager for the Lower Hill Redevelopment and First Source Center. Keep an eye out for Ms. McMullen at our upcoming events!
The Lower Hill first engaged with Chef Chayanne as a caterer before she graduated fromCatapult Culinary,a small business incubator that offered her a kitchen and business training resources. Since her graduation we have successfully contracted with her on several recent events and look forward to enjoying her award-winning greens and delicious items again soon.
After her success working in residential post-construction and office cleanings, Angelica Grant, the CEO of Prestige Cleaning, has acquired new, more widespread and higher contracts with the City of Pittsburgh. In 2022 she secured her new office and became a graduate of the Riverside Center for Innovation’s BizFit Program. Thereafter she secured contracts with Point State Park following Juneteeth, the Soul Food Festival and we hired her business to clean up the Frankie Mae Pace Park after our Hill Community Celebration and BBQ.Read more here
BizFIT: Construction Entrepreneurial Training Program
Lower Hill's Contracting Gurus Matt & Olivia are Back!
Participating for their 3rd year, The Buccini/Pollin Group's |BPGS Construction, Matt Corace, and Olivia Grunseich , experts in Construction Bidding, Management and Execution, will lead courses as part of BizFIT's Tier 2 Construction Entrepreneurial Training Program. These weekly two-hour virtual sessions will kick off Wednesday, December 7.
Approximately 20 interactive presentations will be conducted onDecember 7, 14 & 21, 2022 and picking back up January 4 through April 26, 2023.
Industry experts & prime contractors will cover topics ranging from project management, bidding, estimating, construction accounting, invoicing, bonding & insurance, to certifications, business development, marketing, mock bids, legal contracts, green industry, finance & special lending programs.
Orientation, Session #1 on December 7 with RCI staff and a BizFit Alumni Guest Speaker.
The weekend of August 12-14 was a BIG DEAL for the Historic Hill District, City of Pittsburgh, America and the international community, due to the heavily anticipated Grand Opening of the August Wilson House at 1727 Bedford Avenue. Friday August 12th kicked off celebrations with the premiere of August Wilson’s, “Jitney” in the Backyard Theater of the newly renovated boyhood home of August Wilson, which received standing ovations and rave reviews throughout its entire run. On Saturday, Founding Executive Director, Attorney Paul Ellis, along with his sister and original Digital Director, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, stood alongside architect Rob Pfaffman, August Wilson House Board members, and Hollywood stars Russell Hornsby and Denzel Washington, alongside Mayor Ed Gainey and others, for the ribbon cutting.
It was an absolute pleasure for the Lower Hill Development Team to host theMacedoniaFACE Seniors’ visit to the Lower Hill Suite at PPG Paints Arena! We were honored to be a part of the introductory experience for these lifelong Lower Hill community elders. In attendance from theLower Hill Team were BPG’s Senior Vice President of Development, Boris Kaplan, BPG's Director of Community Arts and Culture, Dr. Kimberly Ellis, new Senior Vice President of Development for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Craig Dunham, and Project Coordinator, Jessica Jeffries.
Lower Hill Team Takes a Ride with August Wilson's, "Jitney" Throughout its Fall Run
Members of the Development Team, family and friends attended Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company's presentation of August Wilson's classic drama, "Jitney" during its August - September run. Performed in the back yard of the newly renovated August Wilson House, "Jitney", one of Wilson's earliest and most famous plays, drew crowds from near and far. This was an especially meaningful event for two members of the The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) as August Wilson is the maternal uncle of BPG's Director of Community, Arts and Culture, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis and BPG's VP of Business Development, Bomani Howze's father, Mr. Sala Udin, starred in the role he originated in the 1980's.
Development Team Members Present to Netroots Nation:
Equitable Development is Possible! The Lower Hill Story.
Panelists from the Lower Hill Development Team, along with government representative, Councilman Daniel Lavelle, spoke about why and how they are working on this Equitable Development Project and the project's innovative reinvestment plan at the 2022 Netroots Nation Conference at the David Lawrence Convention Center August 18 - 21, 2022. Hear from Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, BPG's Director of Community, Arts and Culture, Bomani M. Howze, BPG's Vice President of Development, R. Daniel Lavelle, City Councilman, District 6, Tracey McCants-Lewis, General Counsel and Director of HR, The Pittsburgh Penguins and Dr. Diamonte Walker, Historic Hill resident by clicking the link below.
Did you know the Building and Construction Industry in Western Pennsylvania is one of the fastest growing industries both regionally and nationally - offering some of the highest compensation rates and best benefit programs of any industry in the country? The First Source Center (FSC) is here to help propel interested individuals into this booming field. Recently, our Street Team Manager, Aaliyah McMullen, set up shop at the ‘Build On Career Fair’ November 4th and 5th to introduce attendees to our trade partners The Builder's Guild of Western PA, CARP and APRI to help promote careers in the construction industry.
One such attendee, 18 year old, Damiya Mitchell (pictured above), was introduced to bricklaying through her cousin, who is a Union member. She was able to attend the Build On Career Fair and try it out for the first time! Initially, Damiya thought bricklaying was only for men but she met women at the Build On Fair and learned that it was a lot like baking a cake!
We will continue to showcase opportunities for women and men in construction via our construction training partners, at the First Source Center and Lower Hill District site!
Questions, Comments or Content Suggestions? Send us your feedback at LowerHillOpportunities@bpgroup.net. We will do our best to answer quickly and accurately. Your question may just be featured in our next newsletter!