Governor Wolf Awards Funding to Big Tom's Barbershop in the Hill District

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 8, 2021) Governor Tom Wolf today awarded $500,000 for the rehabilitation of what will become Big Tom’s Barbershop and two affordable housing units in the Hill District, at the site of the iconic Hamm’s Barber Shop on Centre Avenue. 

Owner Thomas Boyd plans to relocate to the first floor of the rehabilitated Hamm’s structure, while the second and third floors will be renovated into 2 two-bedroom apartments, affordable at 50%-80% Area Median Income (AMI). 

The Governor’s funding — approved today by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency — came from the sale of tax credits under the Mixed-Use Development Tax Credit Program, the proceeds of which are being used to fund the work of the Community Revitalization Fund Program. 

The overall project cost is $1.3 million, and the Governor’s $500,000 follows awards of $50,000 each from Neighborhood Allies and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.  

The Big Tom’s project arose from a RFQ the URA released in July 2019 seeking multiple developers to purchase and redevelop any portion of 170 publicly owned parcels along the Centre Avenue Corridor in the Middle Hill neighborhood.  The goal of the RFQ was to select developers to work to implement uses and further concepts articulated by the community as described in the 2015 Centre Avenue Corridor Redevelopment and Design Plan and the 2011 Greater Hill District Master Plan.  

“Big Tom’s vision is one that the City and the URA is seeking to repeat across the Hill District and other historically Black business districts, combining a reverence for community wishes and history, affordable residential components, and fostering economic empowerment through private and public partnerships,” Mayor William Peduto said. “I want to thank the Governor, the PHFA, URA, Neighborhood Allies and Big Tom for their work on this tremendous initiative.” 



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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office