U. S. Steel Makes Another Historic Conservation Donation to Jefferson County
Would create Red Mountain Park, one of the largest urban parks in America
United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and the Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust (The Land Trust) have reached an historic agreement that would create Red Mountain Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States.
U. S. Steel is selling 1,100 acres of property on Red Mountain, with an appraised value of $16,462,000, to the Land Trust for $7 million. When the property is purchased, U. S. Steel is also pledging $1 million cash as a challenge grant toward development of the Park's amenities. Adding the $9,462,000 discount in the sale price of the property, and the $1 million challenge grant, the U. S. Steel monetary contribution is $10,462,000, the largest philanthropic donation in U. S. Steel history, and one of the largest philanthropic conservation gifts in the history of the State of Alabama.
U. S. Steel is also granting The Land Trust a two-year option to purchase the property for the nominal amount of $100. Under normal circumstances, this type of option would require 10% of the purchase price, or $700,000.
"The gift of time by U. S. Steel makes it possible to secure federal, state and local grant money for the project," said Wendy Jackson, executive director of The Land Trust. "Recreational open spaces are one of the top priorities when you look at quality of life issues. The development of Red Mountain Park will put Birmingham near the top of largest 50 cities in the United States for the amount of open space per resident."
The establishment of Red Mountain Park will make it possible to develop and connect a 64-mile network of walking and biking trails and greenways -- 18 miles of trails within the park and 48 miles of connector trails.
"U. S. Steel has been part of the Birmingham community for nearly 100 years, and the iron ore we extracted from Red Mountain to make steel has helped to build and protect America," said John Surma, president and CEO of U. S. Steel. "By helping to preserve Red Mountain as a park for the people of the Birmingham region, we demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship; we honor generations of men and women who have worked for U. S. Steel; and we add to the vitality and economy of the area. The formation of The Land Trust created the opportunity for us to give back to our community. We worked with them before to preserve more than 750 acres and 20 miles of waterway around the Black Warrior and Cahaba River watersheds, and we know the organization will be the perfect partner for the preservation of Red Mountain Park."
In July 2003, U. S. Steel sold 753 acres of land, valued at $6.7 million, to The Land Trust for $4 million. In addition, U. S. Steel donated $1 million to the organization. At the time it was the single largest land transaction, and the single largest monetary gift in the history of The Land Trust.
"The Red Mountain Park project is a good example of what can happen when the public and private sectors work together," said Jefferson County Commissioner Gary White. "Red Mountain Park is a win for our citizens, our environment and our economy. I applaud U. S. Steel for their remarkable generosity and I look forward to working with the Land Trust to move this project forward."
"I applaud the partnership of U. S. Steel and the Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust. I thank U. S. Steel for their stewardship of these valuable natural resources," said U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. "The Red Mountain park project will protect and preserve this land for the enjoyment of Alabamians for generations to come."
"I am enthusiastic and in full support of the proposed Red Mountain Park," said seventh district Congressman Artur Davis. "This greenway will serve our community in a myriad of ways from providing athletic fields and walking trails to preserving the natural beauty of our region. I applaud the Black Warrior Cahaba Rivers Land Trust and U. S. Steel for initiating this ambitious effort which will surely better the quality of life for residents of our area."
"Creating a world-class urban park here in Birmingham is long overdue," said sixth district Congressman Spencer Bachus. "The Red Mountain Park is a concept that will tie the past and the future in a powerful and unique way. I am committed to working with all of those involved to make the park a success. U. S. Steel is to be commended for their generous donation to the people of Alabama."
"We are very enthusiastic over the possibility of developing this property in the City of Birmingham, and look forward to participating in a study with the other stakeholders that will determine the viability of the idea," said Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid. "As with any undertaking of this magnitude, there are many details to be considered, but we are excited about the potentially positive impact in an area of the city which is experiencing significant residential and commercial growth."
United States Steel Corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., manufactures a wide variety of steel sheet, tubular and tin products; coke, and taconite pellets; and has a worldwide annual raw steel capability of 26.8 million net tons.
The mission of the Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust is the acquisition and stewardship of lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space.
SOURCE: United States Steel Corporation
CONTACT: Wendy Jackson of Black Warrior-Cahaba Rivers Land Trust,
Web site: http://www.ussteel.com/
Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/929150.html