Big video screen in plaza near PNC Park would boost entertainment on North Shore, developer says

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Plans are moving ahead for a proposed video screen in a new plaza near PNC Park where people could watch Pirates games without going into the stadium.

The concept was first introduced to the Planning Commission last month. Commissioners said then that they were concerned the large LED screen would be visible from Interstate 279.

On Tuesday, commissioners voted in favor of the 916-square-foot LED screen. It would be nearly 23 feet tall and 40½ feet wide.

Pending approval from City Council, the screen would be situated in a 30,000-square-foot plaza with a restaurant, said Joe Luzio, project developer with the Chicago-based architectural firm Barker Nestor. The space would offer sports fan another way to watch Pirates games and could be used for other events, he said.

The firm is “still developing the content” that could be shown on the screen in addition to Pirates games, said Shawn Gallagher, a Pittsburgh attorney representing Barker Nestor.

“It’s going to be a major step in activating the North Shore with more entertainment and restaurant areas,” Luzio said.

The project had been delayed for several weeks as developers tweaked the proposal to address concerns about whether the screen would be visible from I-279, which would not be allowed under the city’s zoning code.

Luzio said plans now call for angling the video board downward so it would not be easily seen from the roadway. The screen also would be set back six feet into a steel structure that would create a “natural shroud” around the display, he said.

The developers also would add trees to help block the view of the screen from the highway, he said.

People driving on I-279 at the posted speed limit would be able to see the screen for less than two seconds, he said.

Commissioner Rachel O’Neill said the added landscaping alleviated her concerns about the would-be screen’s visibility from the highway.

The big-screen proposal now goes to City Council for final approval.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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