Brownfield Revitalization: In Pennsylvania, redevelopment of defunct 1930 Alcoa factory gets a big boost with new Re:Build facility

On May 1, 2023, the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC) and Re:Build Manufacturing joined Governor Josh Shapiro and county and local officials in announcing plans for Re:Build to locate a new facility at the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Re:Build plans to create 300 high-quality jobs at the site once fully operational. The site was once one of Alcoa’s main production and research facilities.

The company says that it is focused on revitalizing America’s manufacturing base and creating meaningful, sustainable jobs in areas that have been deindustrialized.

RIDC, in partnership with the Westmoreland County Industrial Development (WCIDC), has entered into a purchase agreement with the park’s current owner, the Redevelopment Authority of the City of New Kensington, to acquire and redevelop the entire site.

The Redevelopment Authority took ownership of this site in 2018 as part of its overall focus on reinvigorating economic growth in the community.

The property was originally built and occupied by Alcoa beginning in 1930.

It includes over 700,000 square feet of space suitable for heavy or light industrial or tech flex users, with excellent access to regional transportation.

The Re:Build facility will comprise parts of five existing buildings and total 175,000 square feet once complete.

Currently in serious disrepair, it will require $31 million in renovations, which will be funded by grants or loans from the State, County, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Westmoreland County, as well as equity investments from RIDC and WCIDC.

Re:Build’s decision to locate in New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park is a tremendous catalytic opportunity,” said Donald F. Smith, Jr., RIDC’s President.

The presence of a high-quality, innovative force in the manufacturing sector, bringing hundreds of jobs to this community, could be a spark for investment in the region. And it builds on the positive moves the Cities of New Kensington and Arnold have made in recent years to revitalize the downtown area,” he added.

Re:Build Manufacturing employs more than 850 people across 11 business units with facilities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Colorado, and California.

The company says that it is dedicated to building a better future for its employees, customers, partners, communities, and shareholders through a new model of industrialization.

RIDC has taken on projects of this magnitude before, with properties like the former Westinghouse campus at Keystone Commons in Turtle Creek and the former Sony plant that is now the Westmoreland Innovation Center, and many others. The project wouldn’t be possible without the support of many community leaders and especially Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and our partners in Westmoreland County and municipal government,” Smith continued.

We’ve had a great partnership with Westmoreland County, which includes our success with the Westmoreland Innovation Center, and we look forward to working with WCIDC Executive Director Jason Rigone and his team to make the New Kensington Advanced Manufacturing Park a center of economic activity for the region,” he concluded.

The mission of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern PA is to catalyze and support economic revitalization and high-quality job creation through policy advocacy, real estate development and finance of projects that advance the public interest.

A not-for-profit entity, RIDC has developed over 2,800 acres in 14 industrial and innovation parks and manages over 7 million square feet.

All images courtesy of RIDC.

See RIDC website.

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