South Pittsburgh is special for so many reasons, and one of my favorites is our plentitude of parks and greenspace. Over the past year, we've heard concerns from constituents about needed maintenance at Bon Air Parklet. To that end, we've budgeted for updates to the park in 2013.
We know that many Bon Air residents also enjoy running and walking on the McKinley Park track, so we successfully advocated for funding to resurface the track in 2013. We are also partnering with The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy on the renovation of the historic stone entryway to McKinley Park. That work has already begun, and will continue through Spring/Summer 2013.
Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable
Our office receives thousands of calls each year from constituents with a wide variety of concerns-- from questions about small business resources to concerns about public safety and city services. In many cases, an issue requires additional research, phone calls, and collaboration with City departments, authorities, and even non-profit service providers. We do our absolute best to follow issues through to the resolution, keeping detailed notes and files to ensure that we have a reference for similar issues in the future.
One of the most complex issues we deal with is vacant or ill-maintained properties. In Bon Air, we've worked with neighbors to address several such properties. Partnering with the Bureau of Building Inspection, we've successfully enforced building and property maintenance codes, and held banks and irresponsible property owners accountable to mowing the grass or fixing unsightly homes in their possession. We want people to be proud of their neighborhoods, and keeping them clean is an essential piece of that effort.
Building New Senior Residences
My office frequently receives calls from families looking for high quality senior-exclusive housing options in South Pittsburgh. People want to downsize without leaving the neighborhoods they've known for so many years, but right now there's a shortage of this type of housing. That's why I'm working on two exciting new senior housing developments! We should know more about the timelines of both of these projects shortly.
In Carrick, I'm working with the Community Builders, a non-profit senior housing developer, on a brand new independent living apartment building on the site of the vacant former Giant Eagle. The community builders have purchased the property and are putting together a financing package for the new construction.
In Overbrook, I'm working with locally-owned Valcott Industries, Economic Development South, and the NRP Group, the nation's leading developer of multi-unit properties, to renovate the former Overbrook School on Rt. 51. The school will become an assisted living facility with in-house health services. A new independent living complex will be built where the ballfield is now. The campus will include additional parking and a new access bridge to the trolley stop.
New Carrick-Knoxville Library
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is poised to investe $4-7 million in a new, state-of-the-art library for Carrick and Knoxville! As a member of the Carnegie Library's board of trustees, I've been working with Councilman Bruce Kraus and the library's executive staff to bring this project to fruition. The new building will be designed with modern library resources in mind, like computers and social activities, to better meet the needs of the community. Currently we are working to find a lcoation that works for all Hilltop neighbors.