A rehabilitation effort in the commercial corridor of the Hill District is one step closer to opening its doors.
Once a performance hub for artists like Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, the New Granada Theater has sat empty on the 2000 block of Centre Avenue for more than a decade. Planning and fundraising are underway for a full rehabilitation of the historic Art Deco-style building built in the 1920s.
In the meantime, an interim development called Hillworks on the first floor will allow for retail space and community programming.
Marimba Milliones, Hill Community Development Corporation President and CEO, said it’s designed to stimulate commercial activity, “and to bring folks into the neighborhood. A lot of people have been curious about the New Granada for many years, so we’re happy to be able to deliver, to assure people that commercial redevelopment on Centre Avenue is definitely moving along.”
Much of the preliminary work on the building was completed several years ago as part of a $1.2 million stabilization effort. An additional $200,000 grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County will go towards improving infrastructure, including water and sewer lines. The final theater project will include three floors of mixed-use space, including a theater, space that can be rented out as a venue, retail, and co-working space.
The budget for the interim development is around $150,000 to $210,000. Now that a construction permit has been issued, work is expected to start in the next few weeks.
As part of the so-called New Granada Square, other new mixed-use developments on the 2000 block of Centre Avenue will also soon be underway.