FNB Community Investments, First Source Employment Center, Community Reinvestment Fund
The Lower Hill District
News & Updates
Priorities for the Lower Hill Redevelopment go far beyond constructing new buildings. We have a great opportunity with this project to write a new chapter in the history of the City and to positively impact residents of the Hill District and from across the Pittsburgh region. Business owners and people seeking jobs and long term careers stand to benefit as well as the Lower Hill leads a regional rebuild from the aftermath of the pandemic. The beautiful new headquarters of First National Bank is the all-important catalyst to kick off phases of development and waves of community reinvestment.
There is $50 million of tangible benefits created for the community from just FNB Financial Center alone - that's before tens of millions of dollars in contracts for construction services with Black - and women-owned businesses are factored in later this year. That's before development and reinvestment on the remaining Lower Hill parcels is factored in. That's just from one project to build a signature mixed-use building featuring the latest in office space design, welcoming retail space, on-site parking and vibrant public terraces and plazas.
Of this $50 million in community reinvestment, $45 million will flow into the Middle and Upper Hill - creating public-private alignment for equitable development. The Hill District will benefit from upfront funding at the time of groundbreaking this summer as well as from ongoing investments that accumulate over time.
Accelerated investment into the Hill District Reinvestment Fund ($7.5 million)
Support for Small Businesses featuring critically-needed growth capital ($2.5 million)
Pre-development contracts for Black - and women owned businesses ($2 million +)
FNB Financing for projects along the Centre and Wylie Avenue corridors ($17 million)
Support for Housing Stabilization & Development through the Housing Opportunity Fund ($8 million)
Clay Cove / BPG Greater Hill Opportunity Fund to make equity investments in Hill-based real estate projects ($5 million)
Development of culturally responsive, destination parks and open space ($2.5 million)
First National Bank Hill District Gap Lending Program with loans and flexible lending parameters for local businesses ($5 million)
Priorities for the Lower Hill go far beyond dollars and cents as well. Hill District residents will see job opportunities for friends and families, funding to expand a business or fix a roof, as well as a boost to the long-anticipated Centre Avenue corridor revitalization. Community partnerships, capacity building and access to capital are part of our commitment to the Hill District. We are happy to share news of the progress we continue to make to honor our commitments to both the unique history and current residents of the Greater Hill.
Lower Hill Partner FNB Announces $7 Million in Expanded Hill District Investments
First National Bank (FNB) announced the expansion of its commitment to drive economic development in the Hill District community with a significant investment in programs aiming to connect local businesses and entrepreneurs with essential funding.
Highlighting FNB’s commitment is a $5 million investment in the launch of its new, proprietary Hill District Gap Lending Program, which is designed to address financing gaps for real estate projects in the community. FNB will provide loans of up to $400,000 and flexible lending parameters for local businesses so they can move forward with developing or redeveloping community assets. With an emphasis on serving low- to moderate-income and predominantly minority census tracts in the Hill District, the program intends to support projects that improve the community and promote wealth building through the development and ownership of commercial real estate.
To ensure resources are directed toward opportunities that will best benefit the Hill District, FNB will collaborate with community organizations to identify and engage prospective participants.
The Company also has invested $2 million in theUrban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh(URA) and Invest PGH, Inc., a newly certified Community Development Financial Institution, to support lending programs for businesses that traditionally have experienced financing challenges. As part of FNB’s investment, $1 million will be utilized by the URA’s Small Contractor Line of Credit Program for minority contractors in the Hill District who are taking on projects that require access to working capital. In addition, $1 million will be provided directly to Invest PGH, Inc. for its Accelerating Business Expansion Loan (ABEL) Program, which stimulates growth for small- to medium-sized businesses through flexible financing for real estate purchases, development and other expansion needs.
Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center
A Central Location for Jobs, Training, Access and Opportunities in the Lower Hill
The Pittsburgh Penguins and development partner The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) are pleased to announce the opening of a Lower Hill First Source Employment Opportunity Center in the heart of Hill District, blocks away from the 28-acre Lower Hill redevelopment. The mission of the First Source Center is to provide a central location for residents to obtain better access to job opportunities, career training, and pathways to construction, professional and service-related employment.
The First Source Center will be located on the first floor of the historic Hill House, located at 1835 Centre Avenue, in space leased from E Properties and Development, the owner and manager of the property. Delivering upon commitments by the development team under the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) the build-out for the space is being completed by TD Construction, a Hill District-based minority contracting firm owned by Derrick Tillman and Darnell Dinkins.
The Penguins and BPG recruited a group of founding partners to launch and operate the First Source Center, including PJ Dick, Massaro, and Mascaro construction companies, Partner4 Work, PA CareerLink, the Builders Guild of Western PA, and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute. The grand opening for the First Source Center is planned for May 2021.
Hill Resident, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis Expands Lower Hill Redevelopment Role as Director of Community, Arts & Culture
The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis to a new, full time position of Director of Community, Arts and Culture for its Pittsburgh office.
Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D. is a Scholar of American and Africana Studies, an Artist, Activist and Entrepreneur, as well as a playwright, world traveler and international thought leader on culture, gender and social technology. She served on a Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership Committee to install a North Star Constellation at the center of Market Square and unveiled it with Mayor Ravenstahl and other stakeholders. And working with the Heinz History Center and Sam Black, Dr. Ellis served on a Committee to create and edit the historic landmark for playwright, August Wilson, which is permanently placed in front of the August Wilson House.
"I have been working in the community for a long time, in many different areas, but always to help inform, empower and inspire. I am honored to take on this new position of Director of Community, Arts and Culture, with the Buccini/Pollin Group because it reflects my values and allows me to honor my community, empower artists, entrepreneurs, and workers, and to spark economic vitality throughout the Upper, Middle and Lower Hill, and the city of Pittsburgh. I have always been someone who thinks outside of the box and about big ideas, so this is a good fit."
This is a newly created position that leverages her previous role as Lower Hill Historian and Cultural Legacy Consultant into a permanent role focused on engaging the community and empowering Hill residents, homeowners, artists and entrepreneurs, especially as BPG moves into the next phase of the Lower Hill development made possible by the advancing FNB Financial Center project.
BPG & Clay Cove Capital Announce Formation of $5 Million Greater Hill District Opportunity Zone Fund
The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG) and Clay Cove Capital are pleased to announce the formation of a $5 million Greater Hill District Opportunity Zone Fund to help maximize the positivecommunity benefits arising from the Lower Hill redevelopment. The Fund is being formed to promote investment in real estate projects in the Middle and Upper Hill District and along the Centre Avenue corridor, and help address head-on the ongoing challenges of overcoming poverty and advancing sustainable community development in the greater Hill District neighborhood.
The founding investors in the Fund include BPG, Clay Cove Capital and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“We are working to solve the access to capital problem that has been plaguing the Hill District for generations,” said Amachie Ackah, Founder of Clay Cove Capital, an anchor investor in the Fund. “There are residents and entrepreneurs in the Hill District who lack access to capital, and we are offering to bring Opportunity Zone investment to their projects and help the continued economic recovery of the Hill District.”
Questions, Comments or Content Suggestions? Send us your feedback atLowerHillOpportunities@bpgroup.net. We will do our best to answer quickly and accurately. Your question may just be featured in our next newsletter!