Rendering of the music venue, the square building at lower right. Courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will build a 6,600-seat music venue on the former Civic Arena site, as part of $120 million mixed-use development in the Lower Hill that also includes retail space and a parking garage.

It will be run by the music promotion giant Live Nation Entertainment and developed by the Penguins and The Buccini/Pollin Group.

The 90,000-square-foot design will accommodate shows of various sizes and include an enclosed area for club and theater performances. The new venue will also feature an outdoor lawn and will be built atop an 850-space garage at Wylie Avenue and Logan Street.

“There will not be another venue like this in the region, and we expect it will become the entertainment anchor for the Lower Hill, drive significant business to nearby restaurants and contribute to the rich fabric of live music in Pittsburgh,” said David Morehouse, CEO and president of the Penguins.

This mid-sized venue is expected to complement PPG Paints Arena, which seats 18,000 people. It would be used 200 nights a year for ticketed shows and corporate events.

The venue is intended to be similar to The Anthem in Washington D.C., and the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas, which both anchor successful mixed-use districts.

“Ever since we established our full-time office in Pittsburgh, we’ve been focused on adding a music venue within the urban core of the city,” says Tom Loudermilk, president of Live Nation Pittsburgh.

The development will include up to 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space along Wylie Avenue, and up to 34,000 square feet of second- and third-floor retail space. About 1,200 square feet is earmarked for the Urban Redevelopment Authority‘s Catapult Program, to attract local and minority-owned businesses. Another part of the development is a $1.2 million public safety facility for Rescue 2 and EMS 14.

“Live Nation’s 20-year commitment to this project will serve as the second entertainment anchor, along with PPG Paints Arena, and bring this transformational project one step closer to fulfilling its vision,” said Chris Buccini, co-president of The Buccini/Pollin Group.

Groundbreaking is expected this summer, with Live Nation occupying the site in 2022.

Other announced anchors of the Lower Hill project — which is estimated at $1 billion in total private investment —include a 24-story office tower for First National Bank and Punch Bowl Social, a restaurant and entertainment complex.

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.