Ed Savolskis is well known in the area as owner of Conrad Catering. The business, located at 504 East Eighth Avenue in Munhall, is the premier catering company in the Steel Valley. Mr. Savolskis and his wife Rebecca own a building adjacent to Conrad Catering at 510 East Eighth Avenue that houses the Allegheny County Magistrate’s office on the first floor with residential space on the second and third floors.
The Savolskis’ are undertaking a major renovation of the building with major financing assistance from the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC). Four apartments are being created on the upper floors and the exterior of the building is getting a facelift.
Mr. Savolskis said “We’ve seen a number of buildings undergoing renovation in The Avenues area and decided to join in and make this investment. The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation’s Building Investment Loan Fund is very attractive and easy to access”.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko commented, “The revitalization of The Avenues stretches from West Homestead through Homestead and now into Munhall. In that 500 block there have been a number of buildings recently renovated and there’s a new Auto Zone store built across the street. We have businesses investing and people renovating upper floors for apartments.”
Enix Brewing Company has opened in Homestead. The brewery and restaurant was assisted with financing from the SVEZC.
For more information about Enix Brewing go to the website at https://enix.beer. And, for more information about Rogan Brewing, go to the website at roganbrewing.com.
SVEZC CLOSES ON BUILDING LOAN FOR FORMER OWL'S CLUB
Investment continues in The Avenues of the Steel Valley as the former Owl’s Club at 108 W. Eighth Avenue in Homestead is being transformed into attractive office space. Pop City Development, LLC has invested over $300,000 in the project and an additional $150,000 from the Building Investment Fund loan from the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) will be used to complete this phase of the development project. This is the 16th Building Investment Fund loan provided by SVEZC in the Avenues area.
“This is an exciting project for us.” said Blaise Peterson, owner of Pop City Development, LLC. “Homestead has become a dining and entertainment destination for individuals throughout the greater Pittsburgh area and we believe it is time to bring jobs to town. We are developing the former Owl’s Club into a 6,500 square foot open-span space with an industrial-themed interior, an outdoor deck and off-street parking for employees and clients. The site is being marketed to attract businesses who will bring high paid and skilled workers to the community.”
Catherine Lesko, SVEZC President said, “This is an important project in the Avenues as the property sits at the entrance to the businesses district across from the Gray’s Bridge. The project in this block complements the renovated building next door owned by Blaise Peterson and Duke’s and Eighth and Hays restaurants owned by the Ducar family. This is another major investment along Eighth Avenue and more investments are planned.”
RED BANDANA WINERY RECEIVES ENTERPRISE ZONE LOAN FROM SVEZC
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) closed on its 29th Enterprise Zone loan with Red Bandana Winery, LLC. The $100,000 Enterprise Zone loan is part of a $250,000 investment to locate a licensed limited winery on the lower level of 207 E. Eighth Avenue in Homestead.
Red Bandana Winery is owned by Kathleen and Michael Hall. They opened the business in 2012 in Leeper, Clarion County and have since expanded to Franklin, PA. Red Bandana Winery is the number one winery in Clarion County and has become a destination for vacations in the Cooks Forest area.
Kathleen Hall said, “Red Bandana Winery’s wine is low in Sulfites and has over 17 different varieties of wine ranging from dry to sweet and red to white; all from local harvest and made at our main location in Leeper, PA.
Featuring live entertainment weekly, in our signature relaxed atmosphere, creates the embodiment of quality wine, art, music and cigars.”
She added, “Pittsburgh is my home town. I’ve seen the great things happening in the Steel Valley Avenues. I have a passion about wine without an attitude. We’re family run and family welcome!”
Red Bandana is now under construction. The target date to open is sometime in June. Stay posted. For more information go to www.rbandanawinery.com.
“We’re very excited about this addition to The Avenues area” said SVEZC President Catherine Lesko. “The Avenues is becoming a destination for people looking for restaurants, refreshments and entertainment. We now have 18 food and drink establishments in The Avenues with 2 more coming soon. New and renovated housing has been created in The Avenues and nearby neighborhoods. There is great interest on the part of developers and new businesses in our area.”
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) is expanding the Enterprise Zone area for business financing to the entire municipalities of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall; and a portion of the 31st Ward of the City of Pittsburgh. This means that any for-profit business that is expanding and creating new employment or new businesses coming into the area will be able to access Enterprise Zone low-interest loan financing.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko explains: “Previously the State of Pennsylvania, which capitalized our Enterprise Zone Loan Fund, restricted the Zone to certain census tracts. We are now able to assist businesses throughout the three Steel Valley boroughs and a portion of the 31st Ward. Great things are happening in the Steel Valley. It’s an exciting destination for entertainment, food, beverage, and the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail is bringing in people from around the globe.”
SVEZC CLOSES ON BUILDING LOAN WITH WAR ROOM, LLC
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) closed on its 14th Building Investment Fund loan with War Room, LLC. $49,000 of loan funds are to be utilized for renovation improvements to the building at 207 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead. The total project is approximately $240,000.
The primary tenant in the building is Local Motion Pgh, LLC. Local Motion is a boutique fitness studio offering yoga and cycling classes. The business is owned by local residents Dan Kelly and Laura Fonzi-Rhodehamel. Dan and Laura grew up in the area and have a passion for community development and fitness. “We are excited to bring a service to The Avenues that hasn’t existed here before. Laura and I both believe having knowledge about healthy lifestyles and access to good fitness options should be an integral part of any healthy community.” Dan went on to say “The thriving small business community here is really incredible, we are very excited to be a small part of the great progress being made by so many hard working people in the community.”
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said, “It’s great to see a young, local resident get involved in our economic development efforts. The building has been vacant for a long time and they’re doing a great job. We’re excited about Local Motion. They’ve already held events around the area bringing in new, active people. Now with a home in the business district they’ll help make The Avenues a more vibrant business district.”
Ms. Lesko added, “A number of new businesses and investors are coming to The Avenues. It’s becoming a hot destination for people of all ages.”
Pictured below: SVEZC President Catherine Lesko with Dan Kelly of War Room, LLC.
ALDI OPENS IN HOMESTEAD
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation welomes Aldi to Homestead. On October 21st the supermarket opened at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Amity Street in The Avenues business district.
Aldi purchased Bottom Dollar stores in Pennsylvania and this location in 2015. The Bottom Dollar store opened a few years ago. The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation and Homestead Borough promoted the site and assisted in the redevelopment of the site that once housed Bev-O-Matic and some vacant parcels.
SVEZC Elects Officers for 2018
The following were elected to Executive offices for the year 2018:
President: Kitty Lesko
Vice President: William Stasko
Secretary: Duane Schulte
Treasurer: Charles Bennett
WELCOME TO THE STEEL VALLEY - VOODOO BREWERY!
Located at the former Homestead Borough Building and Fire Department Garage
at Ninth Avenue and Amity Street in Homestead.
Open air in the summer at Voodoo Brewery
NEW TOWNHOUSES BEING BUILT ON AMITY STREET IN HOMESTEAD
Work continues on new townhouses on Amity Street in Homestead. This is part of a $13 million residential/commercial development being undertaken by a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc.
RENOVATION OF FORMER POST OFFICE BUILDING AT NINTH AVENUE AND AMITY STREET IN HOMESTEAD
a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc. will have a rental office in the building along with apartments.
Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation Awards Building Loan
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) awarded its 11th Building Investment Loan to Margaret Proviano-Burrows for the renovation of the building at 241 West Ninth Avenue in West Homestead. The loan of $75,000 is part of an approximately $165,000 investment in the property to create three (3) apartments.
This is the third Business Investment Loan awarded to Ms. Proviano-Burrows for buildings on West Ninth Avenue. Buildings at 231-233 West Ninth Avenue and 227-229 West Ninth Avenue have been renovated.
Ms. Proviano-Burrows said “West Homestead has proved to be a good investment for me. The entire area is improving and there are great opportunities. I have great tenants and the street has a family atmosphere. The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone has been a great help to me with the loans and West Homestead Borough officials have been very supportive.”
According to William Stasko, West Homestead Borough President of Council and Chairman of the Committee that oversees the Business Investment Loan Program, “Margaret has done a great job. She is making Ninth Avenue into an attractive neighborhood. This is an example of what’s been happening in the area. First The Waterfront, then The Avenues revitalization and now we’re seeing new investment in the neighborhoods on the hill.”
2018 TrailBook Released
The official guide to the C & O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage - TrailBook, Fourteenth Edition - has been released. This colorful guide book covers the 335 miles from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh. It is packed with information on where to go, where to eat, where to stay, frequently asked questions and much more information.
SVEZC Hosts Business Breakfast October 30, 2013 at the Bulgarian Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center
Over 70 local business and government representatives attended the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) Business Breakfast on October 30, 2013 at the Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, Inc. in West Homestead. Presentations on current and new projects and initiatives were discussed.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko noted the great deal of investment that has and is taking place in the Steel Valley over the last 15 years. Over $800 million of private and public investment has taken place.
Waterfront Manager Carole DeAngelo announced the new stores coming to the Town Center and redevelopment plans for 2014.
Carole DeAngelo, Waterfront Manager
Redevelopment activities along The Avenues were highlighted by developer Victor Rodriguez of a.m. Rodriguez Associates, inc. His company plans on investing over $13 million in residential and commercial development in the 100 block of East Eighth Avenue on Amity Street in Homestead.
Victor Rodriguez, a.m. Rodriguez Associates, inc.
Other new businesses coming to The Avenues include chocolate manufacturer TAGH Products, the Dorothy Six Furnace Café and Stay Tuned Distillery.
Steel Valley High School students discussed their activities on promoting the Steel Valley as a great place to live and work through their group Hear Me 101.
Steel Valley High School Students
Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation Closes on 25th Enterprise Zone Loan With Dorothy 6, LLC Blast Furnace Catering and Cafe
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) closed on its 25th Enterprise Zone loan with
Dorothy 6, LLCBlast Furnace Catering and Café.This new company has acquired the former Karma property at 224 East Eighth Avenue in Homestead and is completely renovating the property for a restaurant/bar and catering services.
Owner Tom Kazar has assembled an experienced team of restaurant and hospitality professionals.Mr. Kazar said, “We’re excited about this opportunity.Dorothy 6 will be a great place for food and drink.We decided to not cut any corners and make this a comfortable place to eat, meet and socialize.The funding from the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone enables us to do just that.We will be a full service restaurant and bar and we will be very active in catering.We see the success of other new businesses in The Avenues like Blue Dust, Tin Front Café, and Smoke Taqueria.We think we nicely complement those establishments and help make The Avenues a destination”.
Along with Enterprise Zone financing, Mr. Kazar secured loan financing from PNC Bank and Huntington Bank along with owner equity.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said, “The time is right for Dorothy 6.We’ve seen other businesses come into The Avenues and have success and Tom Kazar is committed to continue that success”.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held at Sandcastle for Completion of the Great Allegheny Passage
June 15, 2013
Linda McKenna Boxx addresses the crowd. Linda is the President of the Allegheny Trail Alliance and the driving force behind the completion of the trail. Linda recognized and thanked the many groups, businesses and officials who cooperated to make the project happen. She also thank Jack Paulik who oversaw the completion of the trail as the alliance's project manager.
U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle speaks to the crowd.
On June 15, 2013 more than 1,000 people attended the ribbon cutting at Sandcastle for the last section completed of the Great Allegheny Passage. The Great Allegheny Passage, or GAP, is a 328-mile trail linking Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. The completion enables bicyclists and walkers to travel between the two cities. The trail took 35 years to complete. An alliance of trail groups, businesses and local, State and Federal politicians worked together to bring about the completion of the trail.
Bikers line up to ride the newly completed section of the Great Allegheny Passage all the way to the Point in Pittsburgh.
For more information on the Great Allegheny Passage, go to the website at www.gaptrail.org.
Homestead's Community Garden
Amity Harvest, Homestead's Community Garden, was established in the Summer of 2013 by the collaboration of Grow Pittsburgh, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and local groups. The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation paid for the water service installation and the water from the plants. This is an interesting and attractive addition to the Avenues.
FIFTH THIRD BANK OPENS IN HOMESTEAD
Fifth Third Bank opens in Homestead in the Enterprise Zone. Citizens Bank, First Commonwealth Bank, the Tri Boro Federal Credit Union and PNC Bank also have offices in the Enterprise Zone.
GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR FINAL CONNECTION OF THE GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE
Mayor John Dindak of West Homestead; Mayor Ray Bodnar of Munhall; Mayor Betty Esper of Homestead and former Mayor Tom Murphy of Pittsburgh celebrate the groundbreaking of the final 1-mile portion of the Great Allegheny Passage connecting Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.
On Friday, October 12, 2012 the groundbreaking was held at the Glenwood Bridge for the final connection of the Great Allegheny Passage. This is the final section of the trail from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. The portion to be completed is from Sandcastle in West Homestead to the South Side in Pittsburgh. Linda McKenna Boxx, President of the Allegheny Trail Alliance thanked the many supporters of the trail including foundations, private donors, local and state agencies and several engineering and construction firms along with the trail council members from Maryland, Somerset County and the Mon-Yough area. She noted that "Our volunteers give the trail its heart and character". Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald noted the tourism dollars that the trail will bring to the area. The work on this final portion of the trail is to be completed by April 15, 2013. For more information about the Great Allegheny Passage, see the website at www.gaptrail.org.
Linda McKenna Boxx, President of the Allegheny Trail Alliance
FRANJO CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION NAMED ONE OF PITTSBURGH'S
100 FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES!
The Pittsburgh Business Times has named Franjo Construction Corporation of Homestead one of Pittsburgh's 100 fastest growing companies over the last 3 years. With a 59% increase in employment from 2009-2011; and, a 66% growth in sales from 2009-2011; Franjo made its first appearance on the "Pittsburgh 100". Franjo is owned by brothers Frank and Joe Leonello. The corporation has been the recipient of 2 Enterprise Zone loans from the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation. For more information on Franjo, go to their website at www.franjoconstruction.com.
BRIGHTENING THE AVENUES
Throughout The Avenues of the Steel Valley beautiful flowers brighten the landscape. With Main Street/Tax Increment Financing monies provided by the Boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall, Mele Landscape Contractors, Inc. of Rankin has planted perennial flowers in 169 locations in tree wells and planting areas.
According to Catherine Lesko, Chairperson of the Steel Valley Intergovernmental Initiative Public Relations Committee, “In the last few years banners have been installed on the HomesteadGraysBridge and throughout The Avenues business district and bike racks have been placed in strategic locations.We recognized the attractive landscaping at The Waterfront so with the help of the Boroughs we commissioned Mele Landscape Contractors, Inc. to help beautify The Avenues.They did a great job.”
Three local youth groups from the Community of the Crucified One, 8th Avenue Place and Young Life are weeding, watering and doing general maintenance in the business district.
William Stasko, Main Street/Tax Increment Financing Committee Chairman said, “Shops are opening on The Avenues.People are taking pride and investing.We wanted to complement the building and business investment by beautifying The Avenues.The new flowers throughout the business district are a great enhancement.”
The Main Street/Tax Increment Financing program is an initiative of the Boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall and is administered by the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation.For information visit www.steelvalleyavenues.com.
Meanwhile, a number of building and business owners have been planting flowers and landscaping along The Avenues. This landscaping was done at Penn Automotive on West Eighth Avenue in West Homestead. Many property owners and businesses like this are taking pride in The Avenues.
Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation Closes on 10th Building Loan
with Margaret Burrows for Rehabilitation of West Homestead Apartments
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) closed on its 10th Building Loan with Margaret Proviano Burrows to assist in the rehabilitation of the West Homestead Apartments at 227-229 West Ninth Avenue. The $75,000 loan will be utilized to rehabilitate the third building in the complex. Previously, the SVEZC provided funding assistance on an apartment building in the complex. Upon completion there will be 20 apartments in the three buildings.
Ms. Burrows said, “The third building will have 4 completely remodeled loft apartments. My intentions are to have high end housing for our Veterans. Key features are air conditioning, a laundry facility, a courtyard and an incredible view of The Waterfront and the Monongahela River. My thanks to the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation and West Homestead Borough for working with me, and to the friendly residents we have.”
According to West Homestead Councilman and SVEZC Vice President William Stasko, “Margaret has done a great job in these buildings. She’s worked very hard on building aesthetics and creating a friendly environment for her tenants. This is a good project for this neighborhood.”
SVEZC CLOSES ON LOAN WITH
BULGARIAN-MACEDONIAN NATIONAL EDUCATION AND CULTURAL CENTER, INC.
Pictured above: Patricia Penka French, BMNECC President and Catherine Lesko, SVEZC President
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation closed on its 9th Building Loan with the Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center, Inc. (BMNECC). The $75,000 loan is part of an exciting $1.2 million expansion project. The Center’s President Patricia Penka French accepted the check from Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation President Catherine Lesko.
BMNECC has acquired four vacant, blighted properties along West Eighth Avenue in West Homestead and will expand the Bulgarian Museum Center. The new addition will include a theater, a café, gift shop, and exhibit and administrative space. Also, an outdoor plaza and garden and parking will be added.
According to Patricia Penka French, “The new Bulgarian Cultural Center will stand out as a special home for arts and culture dedicated to the preservation of tradition and promoting understanding. Meanwhile, it will serve to help create a new town center for West Homestead across from the new Borough Building and the beautiful memorial that honors those that have served our country”.
Ms. Lesko added, “The Bulgarian Cultural Center already draws many visitors from the region and the country and the new, expanded Center will help attract more visitors to other Steel Valley assets like The Waterfront, Sandcastle, the Carnegie Library and Music Hall, the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation Center and the Steel Valley Trail segment of the Great Allegheny Passage”.
SVEZC Closes on 8th Loan from the Main St./Tax Increment Financing Building Investment Loan Fund
Pictured, from left to right: Catherine Lesko, SVEZC President and Buddy Hobart.
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) announces it has closed its 8th loan from the Main Street/Tax Increment Financing Building Investment Loan Fund to John W. Hobart for the rehabilitation of the building at 344 East Eighth Avenue in Homestead. The three-story building is being renovated for business use on the first floor and residential use on the second and third floors. The SVEZC loan of $75,000 is part of an approximately $400,000 project.
Mr. Hobart said, “We are very excited about this project. This is my hometown and I am excited to be coming back. The progress that has been and is being made in the Steel Valley is incredible. On another note, folks may not realize how convenient Homestead is, from a business standpoint. You can be anywhere in 15-20 minutes. It is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to locate here. We encourage others to take a look at this area and the package of incentives offered through the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone”.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko added, “Another great building is being rehabilitated along Eighth Avenue. The SVEZC is happy to see Buddy Hobart’s investment in his hometown. We encourage other developers to take advantage of the financing incentives available to building and business owners.”
Solutions 21 Radio Show Features Steel Valley Revitalization!
Recently, Buddy Hobart, host of the Solutions 21 radio show on 1360 AM, hosted representatives of the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation on his program. The show was about development and revitalization activities taking place in the Steel Valley. Kitty Lesko, President of the SVEZC, and Chuck Starrett, Enterprise Zone Coordinator, were guests on the hour-long program. To hear the interview, click below:
Photo: Left to right: SVEZC Vice President Bill Stasko, Dan Beaven and Brandon Ingram of Longpointe Management at the loan closing.
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation (SVEZC) closed on its 23rd Enterprise Zone business loan with Longpointe Management, LLC of Homestead. The $75,000 loan is part of an approximately $270,000 project. Longpointe Management will be renovating the building and property at 136 E. Eighth Avenue in Homestead. The project also involves the purchase of shop equipment, tools and office equipment and furniture.
Longpointe Management is a property management and construction company serving real estate holdings in Homestead, West Homestead and Squirrel Hill and Oakland neighborhoods.
Dan Beaven, Partner with Longpointe Management said, “We have a long standing commitment to this area, my partner lives in the Steel Valley, and we want to see the continued re-birth that many have worked so hard to make happen, and everyone knows should and can happen. We hope to be a big part of that, and will be working with local business owners and the borough councils toward that end.”
Mr. Beaven continued, “As a company, and as individuals, our primary focus is the substance and nature of our work. We take pride in the preservation of architectural character and the construction/re-construction of properties that are more than simply utilitarian ‘boxes’. All of us have an appreciation for ‘real’ work, which is something that has always been honored in this area and draws us to it. We very much appreciate the role the HARB and the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation plays in helping jumpstart the revitalization effort while maintaining what is special about the area. And, we hope to be one of their greatest success stories - not simply due to what may come of us, but because of those we hopefully bring to the area as well.
Catherine Lesko, SVEZ President, commented, "Longpoint Management is another fine example of a business organization seeing the opportunity available in the Steel Valley. They have done an incredible job of renovating properties. Now they're investing in the Avenues business district which will bring jobs and more vitality to an area moving forward. The partners are young entrepreneurs – the type of investors that are coming to this area ".
BIKE RACKS ON 8TH AVENUE
The Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation in conjunction with the Boroughs of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall, installed new bike racks at three locations along Eighth Avenue. One is at the Tin Front Cafe and Annex Cookery, 216-218 East Eighth Avenue in Homestead; one is at Conrad Catering, 504 East Eighth Avenue in Munhall and another at Me Lyng, 213 West Eighth Avenue in West Homestead.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said, "With the Great Allegheny Passage trail open to The Waterfront we're anticipating bikers looking for alternative spots to stop along the Avenues. As we see more demand we'll consider adding additional bike racks".
Pictured, left to right: Ellie Gumlock of the Tin Front Cafe, SVEZC President Kitty Lesko and Judith Tener-Lewis of Annex Cookery.
The Great Allegheny Passage Opens to the Steel Valley
Pictured to the left: The Steel Valley Trail Segment of the Great Allegheny Passage
A nearly 3-mile section of the Great Allegheny Passage was opened on June 17, 2011 at an event attended by hundreds of riders, residents and local public and private officials. The event was held at the new Whitaker trail bridge.
Munhall Mayor and Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation Board Member Ray Bodnar welcomed everyone to the opening of this important segment of the trail that will eventually link Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. Linda McKenna Boxx, President of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, said over $6 million was utilized to acquire properties and construct the trail which includes two bridges - one at Whitaker and one at Duquesne - that span six active railroad lines. "It was truly a work of engineering art", remarked Ms. Boxx.
A 1-mile gap at Sandcastle Waterpark and an adjacent scrap yard are to be completed as the final link.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said local groups are working to promote the use of the trail and link it to local businesses and assets.
A brochure providing a self-guided walking tour map of the Steel Valley and its assets is now available at local stores and businesses and at the Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall Borough Buildings...........Or, you can download and print the map yourself. Click on the link above - The Avenues of the Steel Valley Self-guided Walking Tour - and explore, discover and experience the Steel Valley!
Banners adorn poles along Eighth Avenue and Amity Street in The Avenues Business District. The attractive banners were installed in late May, 2011. Sponsored by the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation, they depict the new brand for the Homestead, Munhall and West Homestead Business District - The Avenues. They were designed by the Miller Creative Group.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said, "We want to make people aware that this business district is becoming a destination point for shopping and entertainment and urban living. We're seeing new businesses come in and attractive loft apartments are being built and quickly filled. New investment and jobs are being created and plans for more renovations are being developed".
HOMESTEAD LIBRARY REBORN
On June 1, 2011 the Pittsburgh Post Gazette published a front page article about the exciting rebirth of the Carnegie Library of Homestead. Sold-out concerts, an active, new fitness center and a renovated reading room were highlighted in the article.
Local businessman and former SVEZC Board Member Dan Lloyd has spearheaded the rebirth bringing his entrepreneurial spirit to the historic 113-year-old library.
SVEZC President Catherine Lesko said, "We congratulate the people involved with the library. Not only has the enterprising spirit transformed the library but the benefits are spreading throughout the area. We're seeing people from outside the area attending library events and coming to places on The Avenues and at The Waterfront."
On May 12, 2011 Allegheny County and Homestead officials, the Pittsburgh Pirates and baseball fans celebrated the installation of new banners on the Homestead Grays Bridge. Nine signs commemorating the Grays line the side of the bridge carrying traffic toward Homestead and nine signs depict the Pittsburgh Crawfords on the Pittsburgh-bound side.
The display is the culmination of a decade-long dream of Mayor Esper, who began gathering support in 2001 for renaming the Homestead High Level Bridge in honor of the Grays - the dominant Negro League team of the 1930's and 1940's.
The metal signs, in the shape of elongated home plates, bear photographs of the great players and owners of the Grays and Crawfords. The signs were designed by Pittsburgh sports artist Dino Guarino.
The Waterfront development was initiated over 10 years ago. The development has been a catalyst for new economic activity, jobs and a new image and vibrancy for the area. It's estimated that $450 million has been invested there.
The SVEZC directed the Comprehensive Urban Design Plan which was completed in 2000 and adopted by the 3 boroughs put forth an ambitious plan for revitalization of the Eighth Avenue Corridor.
The plan helped secure a $5 million Capital Grant from the State. With this and another $5 million public funds from Allegheny County major infrastructure investments were made. This includes improvements to Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Also there was the construction of the West Flyover Ramp to The Waterfront and approximately $30 million expended on the Homestead Grays Bridge reconstruction.
Soon private and other public investments began to take place in the Route 837 Corridor in the traditional business district. Among the completed projects are:
Munhall Square I & II
The Bost Building by Steel Industry Heritage Corporation
Allegheny County Housing Authority renovation of the 240 unit Homestead Apartments
The rehabiliation of 331-339 E. Seventh Avenue by
Franjo Construction/Mascari Sales & Marketing Company
McClure Street Garage by Franjo Construction
Urban Design Ventures, LLC at 212 East Seventh Avenue/211 East Eighth Avenue
Hruska Plumbing Expansion at McClure and Eighteenth Avenue, Homestead
Extreme Restoration, Inc.-Timothy & Amy Olson at 301 West Seventh Avenue in West Homestead
225 East Eighth Avenue (225 East Eighth Street Associates, L.P.-Joe Ranii
The building at Sixth Avenue and Amity Street including the Blue Dust Restaurant, 601 Amity Street, Homestead. Visit the Blue Dust Restaurant's website at www.bluedustpgh.com.
PROJECTS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR SOON TO BE INITIATED:
Vantage Court Senior Housing (LifeSpan, Inc.) at 300 East Eighth Avenue
Homestead Municipal Building (Borough of Homestead) in Seventh Avenue Parking Lot.
-The rehab of 227 East Eighth Avenue by Joe Ranii
-Hodanic Building (L.P. Group, LLC) in the 300 block of East Eighth Avenue
And other developers are discussing investments.
Loft Apartments in the Central Business District
We're going to see new business activity and over 50 completely renovated loft residential apartments in the central business district that will change the character of the area. These are being rented at market rate. And we'd like to note that thousands of jobs have been created over this period of time, from 2000 to the present.
In the neighborhoods over the last 10 years the Homestead-area Economic Revitalization Corporation and the Mon Valley Initiative completed 30 new or rehabbed units with $4.7 million of investment. 13 new units are being built for approximately $3 million of investment. And in conjunction with the Second Baptist Church on 12th Avenue in Homestead a new 35-unit senior apartment building was built at a cost of approximately $4.5 million.
These projects cumulatively represent over 3/4 of a billion dollars of investment.
Many of these projects were assisted by the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone Corporation through the Enterprise Zone Business Loan Fund, the Building Investment Loan Fund and the State Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program. We also assist in identifying other public and non-profit financing assistance from Allegheny County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and financial assistance such as Federal Historic Tax Credits, and real estate tax abatements. We work in partnership with these agencies and with financial institutions. We like to say the best deals you can get are in Enterprise Zones!
See the exciting new website
about what's going on in
Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall.
Go to the Steel Valley Avenues at www.steelvalleyavenues.com
ALLEGHENY COUNTY APPROVES MULTI-MUNICIPAL TAX ABATEMENT PROGRAM
Allegheny County Council unanimously passed legislation to bring tax relief for new infrastructure development and redevelopment in the central business districts of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall. This is a big step for intergovernmental cooperation in the Steel Valley and has also laid the groundwork for future cooperation.
The tax abatement program is named Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance, or "LERTA". The Council Presidents - Drew Borcik of Homestead, David Weir of West Homestead and Bernie Shields of Munhall have worked together to bring about this tax abatement program.
The program offers five year declining tax abatement on local, school district, and county taxes for new construction in the LERTA district which includes the central business district along Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Forest Avenues in the three boroughs.
The abatement is applied only to any increased assessed value resulting from improvements which include repairs, construction or reconstruction (not upkeep) made on industrial, commercial or business property.
Contact the borough offices for more information or for a list of eligible properties.