Heinz College Students Tour Industrial Parks Redeveloped from Brownfield Sites

Sep 28, 2012


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A busload of students from the Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College got a close hand look at the results of one of the strategies that thrust Pittsburgh onto the world’s stage as a leader in re-industrialization.  The Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) offered students a tour of three of the region’s industrial parks, all redeveloped from industrial complexes of Pittsburgh’s Steel Age.

The tour was hosted by RIDC Project Manager Sarah Stroney (MSPPM ’12), and Tim White (MSPPM ’05), RIDC’s Vice President of Development.  Sarah gave an overview of the RIDC organization, and while en route, Tim gave a brief history of the region’s steel industry, the origin of RIDC, and its original suburban “greenfield” industrial park developments to capture light industrial firms.  The RIDC’s shift to brownfield redevelopment after the steel industry collapsed was then discussed, as was some of RIDC’s other current past projects including the Alamano site in Hazelwood, the Collaborative Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon University, and (the original) Bakery Square site.

The tour included RIDC’s Duquesne and Mckeesport Industral Parks (formerly U.S. Steel’s Duquense Steel Works and National Tube Works, respectively) and Keystone Commons, the former East Pittsburgh complex of Westinghouse Electric.  Tim discussed the former uses of these sites, redeveloping them for new uses, the environmental and financial considerations of redevelopment, and the economic and legal challenges of recruiting and managing tenants in the Great Recession.

Heinz College thanks to Sarah Stroney and Tim White for putting the tour together.  RIDC is a partner of the Heinz College’s Center for Economic Development, which sponsored the tour.

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