1998 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Career/Pro <cpro@igc.apc.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 15:55:32 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: The Strategic Investment Fund
Tuesday June 23, 11:06 am Eastern Time
Strategic Investment Fund: Press Release

$59 Million in Economic Development Projects with Potential for 3,400
Jobs Advancing with Strategic Investment Fund Support

PITTSBURGH, -- Private development projects involving housing, retail
and office space in Downtown Pittsburgh and industrial parks throughout
the region valued at $59 million are now moving forward as a result of
investments totaling $8.7 million made by the Strategic Investment Fund
during its first year of operation.

The Strategic Investment Fund, a $40 million pool of private investment
capital created to fill financing gaps in important economic development
protects in Downtown Pittsburgh and the 10 counties of Southwestern
Pennsylvania, approved and closed eight loans in 1997. These projects
have the potential to retain and/or create 3,400 jobs.

The ``Working Together to Compete Globally'' report issued by the
Regional Economic Revitalization Initiative in 1994 identified the need
for private capital investment in the region to complement public sector
and other development funds to assist in the creation of 100,000 new
jobs by the year 2000.

Thomas H. O'Brien, chairman and CEO of PNC Bank Corp. and chairman of
the Strategic Investment Fund board of directors, said a wide range of
projects requiring financing investments are currently being analyzed
and considered by the Fund and new investment opportunities are
constantly being reviewed. ``Our efforts are designed to help advance
the job creation goals established through the Working Together
Consortium. In 1998, the board of directors adopted an investment policy
focusing on housing, office lofts, entertainment venues, hotels, and
retail projects that will strengthen the core of the region -- Downtown
Pittsburgh. In the industrial area, our emphasis is on technology
incubators, spec multi-occupancy buildings, `green building'
development, and brownfield development,'' he said.

More than 30 corporations, foundations, and individuals in southwestern
Pennsylvania helped to capitalize the Fund in 1996 (listing below).
``This private sector support clearly demonstrates a strong commitment
to the region and a willingness to risk their funds to help accelerate
economic growth,'' O'Brien said.

The Fund supports two investment strategies, including:

     A Core Investment Strategy designed to preserve and strengthen
Downtown Pittsburgh through investment in retail shops, housing units,
tourism, entertainment venues, office, and industrial space.   An
Industrial Reuse and Technology Development Strategy to support the
preparation of strategically located industrial sites to respond to
business retention, expansion, and relocation opportunities.

During 1997, the Strategic Investment Fund approved and closed financing
support for the following core investment projects:

     900 Penn Avenue -- Conversion of a 1910-era commercial building in
the Cultural District to 25 loft apartments and upgraded retail
storerooms. This $2.9 million project will create downtown housing and
further strengthen the Cultural District.

     Artists & Cities -- Conversion of a 1930-era automobile dealership
in East Liberty to 37 work/live units for artists. This $4.5 million
project not only allows reuse of a long-vacant structure, but the
opportunity to test the work/live unit concept.

   Alcoa Building (Regional Resource Center) -- Conversion of Alcoa's
downtown corporate office building to a multi-tenant resource center for
regional economic development organizations and area tourism/visitor
attractions. A credit line allowed this $15 million project to move
forward one year earlier than planned to accommodate early tenant

The industrial reuse and technology development projects supported
during 1997 included:

Facility for Automated Healthcare -- Redevelopment of a former
industrial site on Washington's Landing in Pittsburgh into new
industrial warehouse and office space of 55,000 square feet. This $4.4
million project retains 40 jobs in the city and creates the potential
for another 25 additional jobs when the building is expanded.

Facility for Genesis Corporation -- Renovation of an old industrial
building of 50,000 square feet in McKeesport, a portion of which will be
used as a start-up for a high-technology hospital waste disposal
business, initially creating 10 new jobs and employment opportunities
for the disadvantaged.

Pipe Mill Building -- Renovation of a former US Steel plant of 840,000
square feet in McKeesport for leasing as industrial space. Phase 1 of
the project will include 227,500 square feet with the potential for at
least 1,500 jobs. Once the entire project is leased, over 5,000 jobs are

Pullman Center Building -- A 20,000 square foot, spec multi-occupancy
warehouse building is being developed on 1.8 acres at the former Pullman
Standard plant site in Butler, Butler County. It will provide modern
space to attract, create, retain and expand businesses. This $1 million
project has the potential to create up to 60 new jobs.

Meadow Ridge Industrial Park -- A site at the Mt. Morris exit of I-79 in
Greene County is being developed into an industrial park for
build-to-suit and spec buildings. Over 800 jobs are projected for the
project which will involve $12 million in private and $2.3 million in
public investments.

According to O'Brien, linchpin public investments such as the expansion
of the Convention Center and new industrial sites are critical to
attracting private developers. However, creative financing is still
needed for complementary development projects such as convention hotels,
retail shops, urban entertainment projects, housing, offices, and
industrial buildings.

``In many cases, there are impediments to private sector financing for
projects such as these,'' O'Brien explained. ``The cost of the
transformation may exceed the property's present value or there can be
delays in attracting tenants or patrons during start-up and occupancy.
These situations create shortfalls in collateral or debt coverage which
are difficult to overcome without some level of investment assistance.''

``The Strategic Investment Fund can provide a variety of financing
options such as gap loans, flexible terms, deferred interest,
subordinated lien positions and combined debt/equity positions to get
these projects moving,'' Robert C. Stephenson, president of the
Strategic Investment Fund, said.

``Thanks to Governor Ridge's $40 million funding program for 16 economic
development projects in all 10 southwestern Pennsylvania counties
announced on June 11 and his April announcement of nearly $150 million
for expansion of the Convention Center, the region is poised for
significant growth in the near future. The Strategic Investment Fund
stands ready to help attract private development and new jobs to our
region,'' O'Brien said.

Note: A summary of the 1998 Investment Programs policy for the Strategic
Investment Fund is available by contacting Robert Stephenson at

Strategic Investment Fund Investors

Heinz Endowments
Allegheny Health, Education, and Research Foundation 
Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield
Thomas A. McConomy
Bayer Foundation Trust    
McCune Foundation
Beckwith Machinery Company 
Gerald E. McGinnis
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation      
Mellon Bank Community Development Co.
T/C Real Estate Limited Partnership        
Mine Safety Appliances Company
Buhl Foundation                            
National City Bank of Pennsylvania
Consolidated Natural Gas Company           
PNC Bank
William S. Dietrich II
The Pittsburgh Foundation
Duquesne Light Company  
PPG Industries Foundation
Eat'n Park Restaurants  
C.J. Queenan, Jr.
Equitable Resources 
Richard P. Simmons
Giant Eagle                       
Strategic Investment Fund,Inc.
Grable Foundation                          
USX Corporation
H.J. Heinz Co.               
Westinghouse Foundation

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