Large and small scale commercial and mixed-use development can bring high impact change for our communities. These projects are the focus of the URA’s integrated economic development program. Our economic development team works with developers linking them with available sites; structuring financing; facilitating good community process—and help navigate the permitting process.
Our team works with each developer individually to create a solid foundation that supports a sustainable development for the long haul. We provide financial assistance from our own resources as well as facilitate financing from our State and Federal partners. The URA staff can also help arrange special financing for projects of a larger scope and impact.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers a variety of financing products for commercial real estate development and small and medium size business development. Learn more here.
To discuss your commercial development project with a development officer, contact Robert Rubinstein, Director, Economic Development, at 412.255.6663 or .
Market Value Analysis
A partnership of the City of Pittsburgh, and the Community Development Collaborative, undertook a major analysis of our city’s neighborhoods throughout 2007-2008. The Market Value Analysis (MVA) is a statistical tool that uses market data to classify geographic areas and produce a map of the varying market types within the City. Market types are designated according to clustering similar characteristics, including housing units, residential sales prices, vacancy, percent commercial, new unit permits, code violations, foreclosures and section 8 rentals.
The MVA brought to light the need for re-thinking our economic and community development strategies in the City of Pittsburgh. Each unique neighborhood has different needs. The MVA is a tool to help clarify where different market types exist, and what strategies will be most successful in each area, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all mentality when it comes to neighborhood revitalization. By working together to tailor investment plans to the conditions of each market area, we can make great strides in improving each unique neighborhood.
The URA uses data garnered from the MVA and other sources to craft innovative approaches to complex community issues and opportunities. For complete information on the Market Value Analysis and other available community development tools, visit the City of Pittsburgh’s community development website.
Tax Increment Financing Districts
Tax Increment Financing (TIF’s) is a public financing method which has been used for redevelopment projects for more than 50 years. The future gains in taxes are used to finance the planned improvements that will create those gains. Publicly planned and financed redevelopment projects often lead to an increased value of the surrounding real estate, and are often followed by additional investment in the adjacent area. This increased site value and investment generates increased tax revenues – the “tax increment”. Tax Increment Financing dedicates tax increments within a defined district be used to finance the debt issued to pay for the project.
Currently there are 19 TIF’s in the City of Pittsburgh, created for projects ranging from the massive Pittsburgh Technology Center to the Negley Avenue Giant Eagle. These projects have leveraged over $1.67 billion in private investment and created over 15,000 jobs in the City of Pittsburgh. The overall public investment is $304 million.
When all existing TIF’s are paid down, nearly $3 million in NEW tax revenue will be generated each year for the City (based on today’s valuations and tax rates). This does not include the $800,000 that is now being collected from the annual employment tax from the newly created jobs. This figure will rise to $1.3 million once all TIF projects are completed. That’s a total of $4.3 million in additional tax revenue for the City (based on today’s valuations and tax rates). Additional revenues are also collected from the creation of these jobs such as employer payroll taxes, city wage taxes, potential sales taxes, etc.
These figures are based solely on what is generated by the TIF district itself, and do not take into account additional development that has spun off from the TIF projects. For example, the Home Depot TIF project revitalized a section of East Liberty, brought 138 jobs, $10 million of investment and paved the way for additional national retailers to move into the neighborhood.
Alcoa TIF bonds were refunded in April 2008. Even in this kind of market, the URA was able to achieve enough savings to shorten the bond term by one full year. Therefore, starting in 2015 (as opposed to the originally scheduled 2016), the taxing bodies will start to receive the full amount of property taxes. For the City, this will mean additional tax revenues of $317,520 beginning in 2015, given current valuations and tax rates.
TIF’s have been a great economic development tool for Pittsburgh, without which, many large developments would likely have not happened.
View the URA's TIF Guidelines and TIF Application Form. To discuss the use of Tax Increment Financing for your development, contact the Director of the Economic Development Department at 412-255-6663.
Green Development Resources for
The benefits of green buildings are both broad and specific. For businesses, green buildings can offer economic advantages including lower operating costs, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and higher rental and retail sales rates. Green residential developments provide occupants with lower monthly utility bills as well as increased comfort and indoor air quality.
Pittsburgh is recognized as a leader in the construction of green buildings and we believe that the maintenance of this position is advantageous. See this compilation of Green Development incentives and resources for commercial development available to you for completing your project within the City of Pittsburgh.