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
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 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