Inclusive innovation priority at Nova Place


Photo by Alyse Horn
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto speaking during the press conference at Nova Place on February 14.

On February 14, four organizations came together to announce their commitments on creating some of the fastest, free internet connectivity in the country for the nations second largest urban renewal project: Nova Place.

“The Buhl Foundation, Faros Properties, Comcast and Urban Innovation21 have committed to combining their resources and expertise to realize a shared vision of an inclusive, connected, collaborative place that integrates public space and the wider Northside community,” according to a press release.

Collectively, the four have committed nearly $260 million towards Nova Place renovations with Faros Properties making up the bulk of that sum with $250 million.

Mayor Bill Peduto, who was in attendance during the press conference, made it clear that no public money had been invested into the redevelopment of the old Allegheny Center property.

“I wish that every development that we had set its sights as high as Faros [Properties] does,” Peduto said. “It is really important to understand that not a dollar of government money [has gone into this project].”

Faros announced in May 2015 that they would be heading construction of the 1.5 million square foot development of Nova Place, which is the “second largest urban renewal project in the nation,” according to a press release.

“We are proud to partner with these esteemed organizations to provide free public Xfinity WiFi to such a large audience. We’re committed to building an inclusive, community-driven space that will make Nova Place a beacon of innovation for those who crave to collaborate,” said Jeremy Leventhal, Faros Properties Manager Partner.

Urban Innovation21, a unique public-private partnership that supports growth of entrepreneurship, will be leading regular programming efforts for students and start-ups, community organizations and educators at Nova Place.

“Urban Innovation21 is excited to be a founding member of this partnership,” said William Generett, president and CEO of Urban Innovation21. “Comcast’s investment in Nova Place and One Northside will be a big step toward making inclusive innovation a reality in this region.”

Comcast is also bring affordable, high-speed interent for $9.99 per month to qualifying homes in Pittsburgh. Eligible households must have at least one child who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program or receive HUB housing assistance, live in an area where Comcast Internet Service is available, not have subscribed to Comcast within the last 90 days, and not have outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than one year old.

There is no term contract, installation fee, or credit check, and in-home WiFi is included. There is also an option to purchse a desktop or laptop for $149.99 that includes Microsoft Office, Norton Security Suite and a 90-day warranty. To learn more or apply, visit or call 1-855-846-8376.

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