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BPG closes $200M+ financing for Pittsburgh project

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Buccini/Pollin Group will build the FNB Financial Center in downtown Pittsburgh. | PHOTO COURTESY OF BPG

PITTSBURGH – The Buccini/Pollin Group announced last week that it has closed more than $200 million in construction financing for its 26-story FNB Financial Center project, located in the Lower Hill District of Pittsburgh.

Equity for the project was provided by Clay Cove Capital, one of the largest minority-owned real estate investment firms in the country. This is one of the largest community reinvestment projects in the state of Pennsylvania and has been recognized as a model for inclusive development around the United States. A ceremonial groundbreaking for the project was held Sept. 1.

“We are proud to achieve such important milestones for this transformational project – one that’s made possible by the strong partnership behind the FNB Financial Center,” BPG Co-President Chris Buccini said in a statement announcing the financing. “This partnership is made up of champions, and this project would not happen without our partners’ love of their hometown and our collective commitment to making Pittsburgh a better place for all its residents. We are excited about the future of this City, this community, and this significant investment, and look forward to working together to make great things happen in the Historic Hill District.”

The team’s community reinvestment efforts received a major boost from closing, as the transaction delivered over $7 million of monetized tax abatement benefits to the community-directed Greater Hill District Reinvestment Fund. The funding will be used to invest in development projects and other community needs in the district as outlined in the Community Collaboration and Implementation Plan (CCIP) between the neighborhood and the developers.  Possible applications for the funding could include local redevelopment projects, youth education programs, rent and mortgage assistance and other wealth-building and capacity-building efforts.

No other development in the city of Pittsburgh has ever generated such a large degree of direct cash impact to help invest in adjacent underserved neighborhood.

Based on estimates, the Lower Hill tax abatement district could generate up to $40 million overall for the Greater Hill beginning with the FNB Financial Center. The 26-story mixed-use tower is designed to kickstart the redevelopment of the historic Pittsburgh neighborhood and serve as the corporate headquarters of FNB, the parent company of First National Bank.

The tower is expected to generate 1,250 construction jobs, 2,000 permanent jobs and over $40 million in investments in the Middle and Upper Hill District. It will contain more than 475,000 square feet of Class A office space, consolidate FNB’s regional headquarters operations, and include open space and terraces for community events at the adjacent Plaza at FNB Financial Center.

Construction of the tower at Bedford Avenue and Washington Place will further restore connections between the Greater Hill District and Downtown Pittsburgh and is the first step in an estimated $1 billion redevelopment of the 28-acre former Civic Arena site led by BPG, the Pittsburgh Penguins and their partners.

Construction of FNB Financial Center will be led by P.J. Dick is expected to be completed in late 2023. Internationally renowned Gensler is leading the design team for the project. The Pittsburgh office of JLL is responsible for commercial leasing efforts.

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