URA Board To Vote On Two Items To Further The Success Of Avenues Of Hope Initiative

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) Board of Directors will vote this week on two items that will further the success of the Avenues of Hope (AoH) initiative: 1) Approval of the program guidelines for the AoH Storefront Façade Grant Program; and 2) The sale of four URA-owned parcels located in the Middle Hill District neighborhood for the New Granada Square Commercial Office Development. 

"These are exactly the community centered investments we had in mind when creating Avenues of Hope," said Mayor William Peduto. "These actions will lead to once in a lifetime opportunities for local business owners and expand the historic New Granada block in the Hill District."

The AoH Storefront Façade Grant Program is intended to improve the physical appearance of commercial storefronts in Pittsburgh’s seven AoH commercial corridors, improve the shopping experience for neighborhood residents and visitors, increase revenue for small businesses, and create local jobs.  

The guidelines were previously presented to the URA Board at its meeting held on November 16, 2021. Details of the guidelines include:

  • Grants of up to $12,000 are available to businesses and/or property owners in the seven AoH corridors.
  • Applicant must show evidence of a 10% match ($1,200 if they get the whole grant amount).
  • Up to 25% of the funds can be used for interior renovations.
  • Up to 50% of the funds can be used for ADA improvements, such as ramps, railings, and bathroom upgrades.
  • The program will open in January.
  • Applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis.
  • The application deadlines for 2022 are February 28, April 30, July 31, and October 31.

“We are excited to offer this new facade program, which will revitalize storefronts on our Avenues of Hope corridors and enhance main streets across the City," said URA Deputy Executive Director Dr. Diamonte Walker. “Prioritizing investment in these areas is more than just placemaking, it is placekeeping. These tangible investments are designed to bolster our business community, create high quality jobs and provide critical goods and services to the residents of the City of Pittsburgh.”  

The Hill Community Development Corporation (Hill CDC) is planning a new construction office building to the west of the historic New Granada Theater on a site that includes four URA-owned parcels located at the intersection of Devilliers Street and Centre Avenue. The URA Board will vote on the sale of four parcels to New Granada Development, LLC, a venture created by the Hill CDC, for $195,000 plus costs.  

This new construction office building will be connected by a pedestrian skybridge to the New Granada Theater. The building will contain a gross area of approximately 41,000 square feet, with 10,000 square feet occupied by the University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement Center; 8,400 square feet of flexible commercial office space; a 3,600 square foot café/restaurant; 3,400 square feet of rooftop reception/dining space; and 14 parking spaces below grade.  

The URA parcels total 5,557 square feet and New Granada Development, LLC, owns the remaining 4,443 square feet, for a site total of 10,000 square feet. Total development costs are estimated at $22.4 million. 

This will be the final phase of development on the New Granada Block. New Granada Apartments, a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) supported affordable housing development with street level commercial retail spaces, is currently under construction on the east end of the block. The historic New Granada Theater will be under construction soon and will include office space, theater space, and a food hall. 

 The URA Board of Directors meets virtually on Thursday, December 16 at 2 PM.


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James Hill
Special Assistant to the Mayor