When LTV shuttered its Hazelwood Works plant in 1997, the site was one among dozens of brownfields targeted for redevelopment by the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and local foundations. 23 years later, the property now known as Hazelwood Green is one of the last such efforts that have not yet come to fruition.
That’s about to change.
This fall, the master planning and public input process will begin for the restoration of the riverfront parcel, comprising about 21 acres and extending 1.3 miles along the Monongahela. PEC is partnering with Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning & Design (EPD) to lead the process, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and a matching grant from Almono LP, the consortium of Pittsburgh-based foundations that owns the site.
A number of features make Hazelwood Green a unique space for development, including its many historical industrial structures and access to an existing bike path. The master plan will guide development of the riverfront for recreational use and seeks to preserve the industrial history of the site while reconnecting the Hazelwood neighborhood to the riverfront.
Restoring the neighborhood’s relationship with the river is one of the major goals of the project, as private industrial use of the riverfront has created a barrier between the neighborhood and the river for decades.
“The neighborhood is thirsting for opportunities to re-engage with the River, which it has been unable to access for more than a century,” says EPD’s Andrew JG Schwartz in a recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article. “The 1.3 miles of riverfront presents an opportunity to blend engineering, technology, ecology, culture and recreation in innovative ways. This creative fusion will celebrate the riverfront’s legacy while developing a meaningful, soul-satisfying and funky public space that is uniquely Pittsburgh.”
Hazelwood residents will play a key role in shaping the master plan, with input gathered via community leaders like Terri Shields of the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative and Advisory Committee.
“It’s a huge piece of land that I believe a lot could be done on,” Shields told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The first in a series of events to gather community input was held September 8 with a presentation by EPD at the Greater Hazelwood Monthly Community Meeting. Additionally, a design charrette is scheduled for October 15-17. Surveys and other ways of familiarizing participants with the site and providing them with opportunities to share their thoughts will be distributed at meetings and in advance of the charrette. Strategies for receiving in-person feedback from the community are being discussed.
Visit https://www.hazelwoodgreen.com/riverfront for updates and information on the planning and public engagement process.