Allegheny County on Tuesday took a first step toward launching $336 million in development on about 4,500 acres adjacent to Pittsburgh International Airport.
The county's Redevelopment Authority accepted the Potato Garden Run Tax Increment Financing plan, which now awaits approval from County Council, Findlay Township and the West Allegheny School District.
"County council will probably hold a public hearing on the special financing plan in about 30 days. If council approves, it must wait three weeks before setting up the financing district," said Gary Klingman, Findlay Township manager.
The special financing will supply $2.8 million obtained from the state for the $7.5 million cost of installing water and sewer lines. Repayment of the state funds will come from user and tap-in fees, Klingman said.
The project will make the land attractive to developers, said Michael P. Pehur, project manager for Allegheny County Department of Economic Development.
"We estimate once the entire site is developed, it could mean 7,500 permanent jobs, 1,400 construction jobs, plus an additional 1,000 in direct jobs, and $105 million in materials," he said.
"It is encouraging to us that developers -- not just governmental officials -- are coming in and buying property near the airport," said Dennis Davin, the authority's director.
The project gets its name because the land is located in the Potato Garden watershed basin, which includes a stream by that name.
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Others say development around the airport has failed to deliver the jobs envisioned when it opened in 1992.
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