URA To Look At Developing Downtown Streetscape With State Grant

May 17, 2016

Plants line the street during construction of Consol Energy Center in 2009. The city's Urban Redevelopment Authority plans to use an $80,000 state grant to update downtown's streetscape.
Credit Daveynin / Flickr

Fifteen community projects in Pennsylvania are being funded by the state’s Keystone Communities program, Gov. Tom Wolf announced today. 

The program supports physical improvements to communities already undertaking revitalization efforts.

Three Allegheny County projects are getting a portion of the state's $2.6 million.

Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority was approved for two projects: $80,000 to develop the streetscape guidelines Downtown and make the area more accessible for people with disabilities and $77,000 for the URA to plan activities in three city business districts.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation took the third. Organizers will continue a façade renovation program with a $50,000 grant to assist with Downtown revitalization.

The Keystone Communities program was developed to bring a comprehensive approach to community development and housing needs to create more attractive places to live. Wolf’s 2016-17 budget supports increasing funding to $15 million, up $8.65 million over this fiscal year.

“Sometimes all it takes is one project to be the catalyst for change within an entire community and we believe the public-private commitments announced today will spark statewide transformation,” he said in a statement.

Other projects approved include a statewide “self determination housing project.” The $400,000 grant will go toward modifying approximately 24 homes.

Westmoreland and Butler county organizations were awarded grants as well. The Latrobe Community Revitalization Program took $50,000 to complete 10 rehabilitation programs downtown; and the Butler County Redevelopment Authority was given $500,000 to renovate the historic Kaufman House into a hotel and restaurant. The restaurant will be used by Butler County Community College’s hospitality management program.