South Side Local Development Company Announces: Fifty New Homes Being Built As Part Of South Pittsburgh Revitalization Efforts

A Nationally-Recognized Planning Model To Replace Blighted Homes And Vacant


Nov 10, 2004, 00:00 ET from South Side Local Development Company

    PITTSBURGH, Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A November 12 groundbreaking ceremony
 will mark the start of construction of the Hilltop Housing Initiative, a
 fifty-unit, affordable housing development to revitalize Pittsburgh's
 Allentown, Beltzhoover, and Knoxville neighborhoods.
     Phase I of the project will replace two blighted homes and six vacant lots
 in the 200-300 blocks of Beltzhoover Avenue, and the 600 block of Industry
 Street.  In all, the development is planned to replace more than 20 blighted
 structures and 40 vacant lots along Beltzhoover Avenue, Climax, Industry,
 Estella, and Curtin streets.
     "This is the dawning of an era with which the Hilltop should look upon
 with great anticipation," says Jennie Brown, President of the Beltzhoover
 Citizens Community Development Corporation.  "It is the beginning of a time in
 which affordable housing will become a reality to all people who wish to own a
 home.  Homeownership will bring about a sense of personal pride, family
 security, and community involvement."
     A nationally-recognized planning model
     A collaborative effort of the Beltzhoover Citizens Community Development
 Corporation, Jaxon Development Company, and Neighborhood Development Ventures
 (an affiliate of the South Side Local Development Company), the Hilltop
 Housing Initiative received a prestigious $1 million financing award from the
 Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency's Homeownership Choice Program in 2002,
 one of only five developments to receive the award that year.
     Also, in 2003, the Community Development Partnership Network (CDPN)
 selected the project's neighborhood planning model as a "Promising Practice"
 to be emulated by community development corporations nationwide.  Tom Hardy of
 South Side Local Development Company traveled to Georgia in June 2003 to
 discuss the community planning process with CDPN members.
     About the community planning process Hardy notes, "Community leaders
 quickly recognized that to reverse several decades of disinvestment requires
 an initiative of significant scale.  Beltzhoover Avenue and Climax Street were
 targeted because they serve as major connections between several
     Financial support
     The Hilltop Housing Initiative is being made possible through the
 financial support of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Dollar Bank, the
 Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, PNC Bank Foundation, Local
 Initiatives Support Corporation, Mellon Financial Corporation, and the
 Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development.
     The groundbreaking
     The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 12
 in the 300 block of Beltzhoover Avenue.  Speakers will include Mayor Tom
 Murphy and City Council President Gene Ricciardi, along with neighborhood
 representatives and project developers.
     The groundbreaking will occur at a time when much development activity is
 occurring in the South Pittsburgh Hilltop.  The Hilltop Housing Initiative is
 the third project to begin construction in the past few weeks.  Other projects
 include the Hilltop Health Center and Bausman Street Independent Living, a
 twelve-unit project for persons with disabilities.
     About the homes
     -- Approximately 1,750 sq. ft. in size
     -- All have 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths
     -- Most have detached garages (7 of 8 homes in Phase I)
     -- All will be for-sale and targeted toward owner-occupants
     -- $130,000 starting price (special financing available to qualified
     -- All will be constructed to meet Energy Star standards
     -- Design by Perkins Eastman Architects
     -- Construction by Waller Corporation, a Minority Business Enterprise
        (MBE) general contracting firm
     -- To be marketed by Northwood Realty Services
     From South Side:
     South on 18th St. to Arlington Avenue;
     Right on Arlington Avenue to Warrington Avenue;
     Left on Warrington Avenue to Beltzhoover Avenue;
     Left on Beltzhoover Avenue to Climax St. (3 blocks)
     From Downtown Pittsburgh:
     Take the Smithfield Street Bridge to South Side;
     Left on East Carson Street to Arlington Avenue;
     Veer Right on Arlington Avenue to East Warrington Avenue;
     Right on East Warrington Avenue to Beltzhoover Avenue;
     Left on Beltzhoover Avenue to Climax Street (3 blocks)

SOURCE South Side Local Development Company