First National Bank headquarters. Rendering courtesy of Gensler.

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Planning commission approves FNB headquarters as part of Penguins development

It’s game on at the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District. On May 4, the Pittsburgh Planning Commission voted to approve the first phase of a $1 billion revitalization project. In a joint venture with Pittsburgh Arena Real Estate Development LP — the development arm of the Pittsburgh Penguins — and the Buccini/Pollin Group, FNB Corp. is building a 24-story, $200 million office tower to house First National Bank’s corporate headquarters, a bank branch and shops.

Located at the intersection of Washington Place and Bedford Avenue, the FNB Financial Center will also include a two-story parking garage. The 547,888-square-foot mixed-use facility is expected to create 160 new jobs. Construction is slated to start this summer and wrap up in 2024.

“Yesterday was a pivotal moment in the Hill District’s revitalization,” says Diamonte Walker, deputy executive director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority. “As a resident of the Hill District, it was moving to witness the Hill District’s residents, stakeholders and leadership provide dynamic testimony centered on ensuring the Greater Hill District is poised to receive the kind of commensurate economic investment it needs and deserves.”

Covid vaccination clinic 

Carnegie Library and Music Hall of Homestead at 510 E. 10th Ave. will host a Covid drive-up/walk-up vaccination clinic on Friday, May 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. Adults 18 and over can receive the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by bringing a photo ID. Appointments and proof of insurance are not required.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering $28.6 billion in Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants to eateries and bars hit hard by the pandemic. Owners must register for an account and have an application submitted and approved before May 24.

Photo courtesy of Wigle Whiskey.

Pickle Palooza at Wigle

Wigle Whiskey is celebrating the return of its Eau De Pickle libation by hosting a Pickle Palooza at the distillery at 2401 Smallman St. in the Strip District from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 6. Guests can pick up a bottle of the spirit — winner of the American Craft Spirits Association’s 2019 National Innovation Award — and purchase dill-ightful eats and beverages. Wigle will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, organizer of the annual Picklesburgh festival.

May is Teacher Appreciation Month at the History Center

The Heinz History Center and its family of museums is offering free admission to educators throughout May. Visitors just need to show a valid teacher ID upon arrival.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.