Downtown Connellsville: Working Toward the Rebirth Of A City

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Fayette County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2008, Connellsville officials started to work on a multi-municipal plan that included South Connellsville and Connellsville Township.

The first meeting with consultants was held at the Porter Theater (which had not yet been refurbished).

The team from Mullin and Lonergan led those in attendance in an exercise that identified “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.”

Based on the discussion and elements identified that night, it was thought that a Main Street Program would be the best way to approach revitalization of the community.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/fayette/5323119-74/connellsville-downtown-program#ixzz2pdtCg59i
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Pittsburgh-Based Firm Started Small, Grew Into A U.S. Job Creator

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fourteen years after Chuck Sanders opened a small storefront in Bellevue providing title and settlement services to people buying houses, that single business has mushroomed into a nationwide empire of about 13 companies, with some 2,400 employees and annual revenues this year that will be in the neighborhood of $200 million.

His flagship company, Urban Lending Solutions, headquartered Downtown in the Federated Investors Tower, provides back office support servicing mortgages for major financial institutions such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and SunTrust.

New York-based Inc. magazine, which publishes an annual list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S., this year ranked Urban Lending Solutions as the eighth-top job creator in the U.S. for creating 1,022 new jobs within the prior 18 months. Black Enterprise Magazine, known for its annual list of the country’s largest African-American owned firms, ranked ULS the nation’s 16th largest with 2012 revenue of $183.5 million.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2013/12/25/Built-on-drive-and-trust-City-based-firm-started-small-grew-into-a-U-S-job-creator/stories/201312250056#ixzz2obVTR97y

Pennsylvania Plans To Court Boeing For New Factory

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania plans to join a high-stakes competition for the chance to assemble the Boeing Co.’s new 777X jet, a competition that likely will require the players to pony up tax breaks and other economic incentives in hopes of winning.

The commonwealth intends to submit a proposal to Boeing by the deadline today in a bid to land the jetliner’s production and lure thousands of well-paying jobs from Everett, Wash.

“Any time there’s an opportunity to attract jobs and investment to the commonwealth, we’re certainly going to do that,” said Steven Kratz, spokesman for the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

But Pennsylvania hardly is alone. The competition for the assembly plant — and the 8,500 jobs it could create at its peak — is likely to be fierce. As many as 12 to 15 states received invitations from the Chicago-based jet manufacturer to bid for the plant, with the goal to start production of the 777X in 2017.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2013/12/10/Pa-plans-to-court-Boeing-for-new-factory/stories/201312100080#ixzz2n7CaJEBo

Brownfield Development Revives Hope For Hazelwood

Locator map with the Hazlwood neighborhood in ...

Locator map with the Hazlwood neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazelwood leaders don’t want the neighborhood to find itself on the wrong side of the railroad tracks separating it from the former LTV Steel Co. site along the Monongahela River.

If a $1 billion investment goes as planned, the sprawling brownfield site would become home to offices, housing, retailers and light industry.

As large machines prepare the 178 acres for development, groups such as the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, Hazelwood Initiative and ACTION-Housing Inc. are working to prepare the distressed neighborhood for growth.

“We don’t want people to just stay on the LTV site. We want them to get into the neighborhood,” said Councilman Corey O’Connor, who represents Hazelwood, where LTV had the city’s last operating steel mill.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/5167942-74/hazelwood-neighborhood-development#ixzz2n0FHYNjt
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Hazelwood Redevelopment Growing

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Urban Redevelopment Authority board Thursday authorized entering into exclusive negotiations with ACTION-Housing and Telesis Corp., which have partnered to buy the Spahr Building on Second Avenue in Hazelwood and create a cultural center for the faith-based neighborhood nonprofit Center of Life and a restaurant and/or catering business.

In a second phase, ACTION-Housing and Telesis propose to buy 25 vacant URA-owned lots in one block on each side of Second Avenue, between Hazelwood and Flowers avenues, to build new housing and retail space. The board approved an 18-month negotiation period for that project, “a longer period because we want the public to be engaged in the process,” said Tom Cummings, director of housing for the URA.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/hazelwood-redevelopment-growing-707144/#ixzz2hRWKObPy

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation Rehabs Wood Street Facades

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years, the three nondescript buildings on Wood Street rarely drew a second glance, let alone a first. Now, after nearly $1 million in renovations, some folks can’t believe what they’re seeing.

“Some of them were trying to get photographs of what they looked like before because they didn’t believe they had walked by these buildings without noticing them,” architect Milton Ogot said of a few friends and colleagues and even some passersby.

In some cases, people “kind of assumed we took down the existing facade and replaced it with a new one.”

Once the plainest of Janes in a drab stretch of Wood between Fourth and Forbes avenues, the “three sisters” now stand out like diamonds on black velvet, thanks to the work of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pittsburgh-history-landmarks-foundation-rehabs-wood-street-facades-706403/#ixzz2h00wpa9w

PNC To Restore Splendor Of Former Lord & Taylor Building In Pittsburgh

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the correction.

That is Geoffrey Leah’s way of saying that the old is being used again inside the former Mellon Bank on Smithfield Street, the ornate building controversially stripped of much of its grandeur when it was converted into a Lord & Taylor department store more than a decade ago.

The new owner, PNC Financial Services Group, is hoping to restore some of that splendor — piece by piece, in some cases — as part of its plan to reuse the city historic structure as a call center.

“What we’re trying to do is take the bones of the building and keep the architectural and historic significance, and do whatever we can to not disrupt the original structure in any way,” said Gary Saulson, PNC executive vice president and director of corporate real estate.

While PNC has no way of fully restoring the majestic four-story, open air bank hall with its marble Ionic columns — Lord & Taylor turned the structure into four floors of department store retail — the bank intends to incorporate as many original architectural features as possible into the new design.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/bank-to-restore-splendor-of-former-lord-taylor-building-693468/#ixzz2XX1pKCpE