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Hill District CDC Wants New Granada Theater Block Development Fully Funded By The End Of 2019

Wikimedia Commons
The New Granada Theater is located on the 2000 block of Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood.

The Hill Community Development Corporation is hoping a $55 million project to redevelop the New Granada Theater block will be a catalyst to continued development in the area. The project will include office and retail space as well as mixed-income housing units, according to CEO Marimba Milliones.

Credit Avery Keatley / 90.5 WESA
Marimba Milliones, CEO of the Hill Community Development Corporation, poses outside of the WESA studios on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

Focused on reviving the Centre Avenue corridor, the project “really combines and brings together community, culture, art, economic development and education,” she says. Giving voice to residents and the neighborhood's collective history was vital to the process, according to Milliones. She says the Hill CDC is in the process of closing financial gaps in the project and expects to have full funding this year.

Milliones joined Wednesday's episode of The Confluence to discuss the project, plus plans to redevelop the former Civic Arena site and the overall future of the Hill.

Later in the program:

Pittsburgh City Council District 1, which includes northern neighborhoods like Brighton Heights, Troy Hill and portions of the North Side, has been represented by Darlene Harris for nearly 13 years. Harris faces two opponents on the May 21 ballot: Bobby Wilson and Mark Brentley. 90.5 WESA’s Ariel Worthy reports the race in heavily Democratic district could continue after the primary, as some former candidates have suggested they could run as independent in the fall.

In Pennsylvania, wildfires tend to be smaller than the massive blazes that burn in the West each summer, but the high numbers of fires can still cause millions of dollars in damage. To better detect them, conservation officials built 16 new lookout towers across Pennsylvania. The old-school tech complements newer solutions like planes and drones, officials say, and towers are often better and more cost-effective at spotting distant fires. 90.5 WESA’s Amy Sisk visited the Moshannon Forest District, the home of one of these new towers, and spoke with conservation officials about the lookout towers’ role in fire prevention.

A Bankrate report found that Pittsburgh is one of the easiest cities for people to compile a rainy day fund. Adrian Garcia, a data analyst with the site, says most financial experts recommend saving six months of expenses for essential items like housing, transportation, groceries, utilities and health costs. Garcia says Pittsburgh has a moderate median housing price and good median income, earning it the No. 4  spot on the list of best places in the country to save.

And the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police reported that it closed 58% of its rape cases in 2017 – well higher than the national average of 36.5%. 90.5 WESA’s Lucy Perkins reports the city’s success rate may deserve closer scrutiny since almost one-third of investigated cases are deemed “unfounded” and may not represent the full picture.

90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich and Avery Keatley contributed to this program. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago.
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