Authority board OKs agreements, $ 1M grant
Focus is additive manufacturing hub
A day after landing Wabtec Corp. as an anchor tenant, Pittsburgh International Airport officials are looking to keep the momentum going for their ambitious Neighborhood 91 development.
Allegheny County Airport Authority board members approved two agreements with the Buncher Co. on Friday to erect a 3,000- square- foot building for powder storage at the proposed site for additive manufacturing just west of the midfield terminal.
Board members also accepted a $ 1 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to be used to position the region to become a U. S. hub for such work.
The 3,000- square- foot building is the second Buncher is constructing at the site. It also has started work on a 45,000square- foot building on the 195acre campus.
On Thursday, Wabtec had announced it would be taking more than 11,000 square feet in that building, where it plans to employ the latest in additive manufacturing technology to produce state- of- the- art lightweight parts for transit rail customers.
In general, additive manufacturing refers to 3D printing technology that uses software to build parts by adding materials layer by layer, rather than traditional manufacturing that carves or shapes materials into the required form.
Board members on Friday approved a 25- year ground lease with Buncher for the 3,000square- foot structure, which will be built on less than an acre of land. Terms were not disclosed.
The authority will lease the building from Buncher, the master developer of the site, at a rate of $ 72,646 annually for 25 years to store powder. Powder production is part of the additive manufacturing process.
In addition, the board authorized an agreement to lease a 3D printer from Buncher for about $ 500,000 annually for seven years. After that, the authority will take ownership of the printer.
The authority, in turn, will lease the printer to Wabtec for 10 years from the time the North Shore- based rail technology company moves into Neighborhood 91.
Christina Cassotis, the authority’s CEO, said she views
the 3D printer as part of the infrastructure package needed to bring tenants to the site. She added it was no different than clearing the land or providing utilities.
The authority wants to make sure tenants have “quick and immediate access to the printers they need to produce the materials they want to produce” at Neighborhood 91.
Ms. Cassotis said the $ 1 million grant will help “turbo charge” the recruitment of tenants, to aid in workforce development and to position the region to be the leader in additive manufacturing.
In addition to Wabtec,
Lehigh County- based Arencibia has signed a letter of intent with the authority to build a 10,000- square- foot plant to supply and recycle argon and other gases used in the additive manufacturing process.
Construction work proceeds Thursday in Moon on the foundation for Neighborhood 91, the first development of the Pittsburgh Airport Innovation Campus. Neighborhood 91 will condense and connect components of the additive manufacturing and 3D printing supply chain in one location.