(PITTSBURGH) Nov. 14, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today, joined by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), members of the Downtown Retail Task Force, Downtown stakeholders and representatives from Point Park University, outlined a new strategy to attract and retain retail businesses in Downtown Pittsburgh. The three-year Downtown Action Strategy plan aims to improve the retail experience in the City’s urban core by creating a new branding and marketing strategy, improving public infrastructure and space, and providing recommendations for new policies and incentives to enhance the neighborhood’s safety and walkability.
In January 2012, Mayor Ravenstahl convened the Downtown Retail Task Force – composed of representatives from the URA and Downtown retailers, businesses, organizations, universities and public office – to focus on key areas to improve Downtown’s retail environment: branding and marketing, retail attraction and retention, and urban design. As a result of these meetings, the Downtown Action Strategy was developed.
The new strategy develops a retail attraction and retention strategy that considers vacant space, desired retailers and an outreach plan; creates a Downtown Retailer’s Association; develops a database to identify available properties; explores possibilities for coordinating building code requirements with upper-floor redevelopments; and more. The strategy focuses on pedestrian accessibility and comfort, key streets’ proximity to significant retail destinations and aims to entice locally owned businesses and restaurants. Smithfield Street, Wood Street and Forbes Avenue have been identified as key corridors.
“A vibrant Downtown Pittsburgh is important to Point Park University’s students, faculty and staff,” said Paul Hennigan, president of Point Park University. “Our unique location in the City’s center enriches the academic experience by connecting our students and graduates with internships, jobs, entertainment, arts and culture. As our investment in Downtown is realized through the Academic Village, we support and welcome the City’s continued efforts to enhance the Downtown neighborhood.”
Immediately following the news conference, the Mayor and Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, led a tour of Downtown retailers, including: Boutique La Passerelle, Bluebird Kitchen, SPLASH, Serendipity, the Fairmont Hotel and Heinz Healey’s Gentleman’s Apparel. Downtown retailers shared their enthusiasm for the Downtown Action Strategy at today’s launch.
“At Macy’s, we are so pleased to be the center of shopping in Downtown Pittsburgh,” said Joe Hladiuk, vice president and general manager of Macy’s Downtown. “We know this is a vibrant retail market and thoroughly support the need for attracting additional retail outlets to the Golden Triangle.”
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687