(PITTSBURGH) April, 19, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Board of Directors today will vote this afternoon to consider establishing a new program to assist targeted communities with creating neighborhood development plans. The new program, called the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Renaissance Fund, is a collaborative effort between the URA, City Planning and the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh (CDCP). The program would give neighborhood organizations expertise and guidance in developing their own community plans, steering them on a clear path toward pursuing real estate development projects and other strategic initiatives.
“Neighborhoods like East Liberty that have successful community development plans are better positioned to attract public and private investment that spur job creation and economic development,” Ravenstahl said. “This program will help more City neighborhoods in the south, west, and north experience Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance.”
The board item today calls for the URA to provide a start-up grant of $300,000 and the CDCP to work with local nonprofits to raise matching funds. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 would be awarded to communities for professional design and planning services. The CDCP would provide technical assistance, outreach, support staff and administrative oversight through their existing Design Fund program guidelines. The Neighborhood Renaissance Fund would be administered by the CDCP.
“The CDCP’s Design Fund program is the ideal vehicle for delivering these services,” said Steve Glassman, CDCP CEO and President. “For more than 25 years, the Design Fund has provided seed grants of up to $40,000 for individual projects and invaluable technical assistance to communities that enable them to hire and use planning and design services effectively. The CDCP looks forward to working with the URA and City Planning to help advance Pittsburgh’s Third Renaissance through the Neighborhood Renaissance Fund.”
The program’s primary goals, to be established in a 10-12 month time frame, include: identifying neighborhood clusters that generate the greatest needs and opportunities for development; establishing local community consensus on project priorities; forging common shared agendas that cross neighborhood boundaries and are shaped around the built environment; and establishing a reasonable scope of services and the needed planning and design resources for each project.
The URA Board of Directors meets Thurs., April 19 at 2 p.m. in the URA offices at 200 Ross St., Downtown.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687