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BALDWIN PREDICTS PENGUINS ACCORD ON IGLOO SOON
Published September 11, 1996
Penguins Owner Howard Baldwin "predicted" that he would reach a "comprehensive plan" with the city and county commissioners on all Civic Arena-related issues, including whether a new downtown facility should be built, according to Steve Halvonik in the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE. Halvonik writes Baldwin's "optimistic assessment" came "only days" after the Penguins "refused to make an $800,000 bond payment for previous renovations at the arena." The bond issue "may now become a bargaining chip in negotiations." Baldwin said, "No one was harmed because we did not make this payment," while adding that "bondholders were paid by escrow funds." The Civic Arena is owned by the Public Auditorium Authority of Pittsburgh, a partnership of the city and county, and it must pay off the bonds if the Penguins default. Baldwin has formed Igloo Development Corp. to explore ways to renovate and improve the arena and examine the possibility of building a new, state-of-the-art facility downtown. It will also explore retail development of the land surrounding the Civic Arena. The team soon will present estimates of how much changes to the Civic Arena would cost and how much they would be willing to contribute. Baldwin wants the city and county to take over the $1.2M in annual bond repayments the team is making to finance $10M in renovations from two years ago. He also seeks reimbursement of the $1.6M in payments that the team has already made. Baldwin named Chuck Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, to head Igloo Development (PITTSBURGH POST- GAZETTE, 9/10).