Residential Developer to Build on Old Civic Arena Site

Mellon Arena Demolition

We all love and miss the Civic Arena. It was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins, hosted some of the most memorable concerts of all-time, and was a staple in Pittsburgh’s downtown for over 60 years. After losing a long fought battle to preserve the building as a historical landmark, demolition on the Civic Arena began September 26, 2011. Currently the former site of the massive dome is an empty dirt lot, with rumors all over Pittsburgh of what the city is planning on putting into the historic site. According to the Pittsburgh Business Times, the rumors are over.

St. Louis-based residential developer, McCormack Baron Salazar, will pick up where they left off in development of the new homes in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The firm was recently chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins as the lead residential construction company to break ground on the 28-acre former site of the Civic Arena. McCormack Baron Salazar is planning on constructing 1,000-1,200 units in a mix of apartments and for-sale townhouses in the former site of Penguins hockey.

Phase 1 of construction will be rental properties along Crawford Street with for-sale residential properties considered for later phases. In an agreement with the SEA, the Penguins organization is also obligated to buy 10 percent of the land that’s able to be developed (approximately 2 acres). The Pens will then choose their own developer for the commercial construction portion of the project next year for a mixed-use building plan expected to include 250,000 square feet of retail and 600,000 square feet of office space. This newly developed area in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh will undoubtedly change the entire landscape of the city for the better, facilitating the need of many Pittsburgh residents to live, work, and shop downtown.


The Civic Arena in downtown Pittsburgh, PA will forever hold a special place in the heart of Pittsburghers. It went by many names, some official and others unofficial. Formally called the Civic Auditorium and Mellon Arena, hockey fans referred to the giant dome as “The Igloo” or “The House that Mario Built” as it was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team from 1967-2010.

Civic Arena - Mellon Arena (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Built way back in 1950, the Civic Arena hosted numerous concerts, circuses, sporting events, and other activities. It played host to such legendary musicians as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson. For all the events it housed, the facility was most closely connected to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 2010, the professional hockey team played their final game there on May 12, 2010 in a heartbreaking loss to the Montreal Canadiens, which eliminated the Penguins from the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The team has subsequently moved across the street to the new state-of-the-art Console Energy Center.

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