Click the button to 'Like' this message on Facebook
URA Newsletter: #affordablehomes #nextpittsburgh #Beechview #thegardens #paczki
Home Sweet Affordable Home
Future home of the Brewhouse Lofts

On February 13, 2014 the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded $4,324,328 in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for five City of Pittsburgh affordable housing projects.  The tax credits awarded to developers will be used to leverage millions of dollars in funding for building and rehabilitating multifamily housing units offering affordable rents.

The five approved City projects, which are expected to develop 292 residential units, are Larimer/East Liberty Phase I, Garfield Glen Phase II, Penn Mathilda Apartments (Bloomfield/Garfield), Parkside Manor (Brookline) and The Brew House (South Side Flats).  

”The City of Pittsburgh and the URA are appreciative of this significant commitment by PHFA for these worthwhile affordable housing developments.  We thank PHFA for its continued partnership in helping to rebuild our City’s neighborhoods,” said Tom Cummings, URA housing director.

The proposal for The Brew House was selected by a jury of affordable housing professionals under the PHFA "Innovation in Design" category.  The Brew House project will create affordable and market-rate housing opportunities for local artists in a historic building in the South Side neighborhood.  The project received special recognition due to its excellence in design, its implementation of current and future energy efficient  technologies, and its leveraging of community and capital resources.

McCormack Baron Salazar and the Allies at Ross (a related organization to the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh) received an award of LIHTCs to build 85 new mixed-income units on the East Liberty Boulevard border of the East Liberty and Larimer neighborhoods.  The units will be affordable to a wide range of incomes and will include four live-work units. 

In 2013, the City of Pittsburgh and the HACP applied for a grant in the amount of $30M from the U.S. Department of HUD's Choice Neighborhoods program to build more than 300 units of housing in the Larimer/East Liberty area.  With this award of LIHTCs, the first 85 units will move forward prior to an announcement of a potential funding award from HUD.  

For more information on each of these projects click on the links below.

Larimer/East Liberty Phase I

Garfield Glen Phase II

Penn Mathilda Apartments

Parkside Manor

The Brew House

What's Next for Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh born, Pittsburgh bred.  The URA is proud to be a founding sponsor of NEXTpittsburgh, the new, online weekly magazine and website debuting this month.

NEXTpittsburgh's mission is to help shape the future of our City by focusing on the smart, innovative and transformative people, projects, places and ideas taking Pittsburgh to the next level - from design and health to science and the arts to the built environment, including news about Pittsburgh from outside the region.

Tracy Certo, founder and publisher of NEXTpittsburgh, and the team at Mullen have created a fully responsive website - which means readers will see user-friendly versions of NEXTpittsburgh and any article or video on all their devices, from smart phones to tablets.

In addition to news and feature stories, NEXTpittsburgh will encourage readers to take a closer look at their city and learn to better navigate it with up-to-date insider guides and first-person videos to our many lively neighborhoods.  Events will feature 10 arts and cultural events weekly and invite readers to post photos and videos of events from the previous week.  There’s even a special section for families showcasing our city as a top place to raise kids.

“NEXTpittsburgh will have more news and more multi-media than any other weekly in an up-to-date web platform,” said Certo.

NEXTpittsburgh will also feed development and technology news daily to the URA website homepage and news section.

NEXTpittsburgh is expected to launch March 4 and you can sign up now to receive this free online publication.  You won't want to miss a single issue!

You can also check out NEXTpittsburgh on Facebook (NEXTpittsburgh) and Twitter (@nextpittsburgh)
Gettin' Techy With It : Codefest Winners n'Apps
PGH.ST, the Codefest winning team, is joined by Mayor Bill Peduto and Laura Meixell, the City's data and analytics manager.  Photo credit: J. Altdorfer Photography

The Second Annual Steel City Codefest was a great success!  Thanks to everyone who participated, our judges, planning partners, key allies and sponsors.  Special thanks to Mayor Bill Peduto for presenting the awards!

Here are some facts and figures from the event: 

  • 105 participants
  • 23 teams
  • 16 of the teams stayed overnight, working hard and in some cases, sleeping in the hallways
  • 7 of the 8 challenges were tackled
  • 6 teams advanced to the finals
  • 3 winners were chosen

1st Place Winner

  • Team Number/Name: Team #11 / PGH.ST
  • Challenge:  City of Pittsburgh
  • Team Members:  Ady Ngom, Tricia Handke, Matt Marriotti, David Walker, Quintin Lovicks

2nd Place

  • Team Number/Name:  Team #17 / Let’s do this for Yundt!
  • Challenge:  Planned Parenthood
  • Team Members:  Michael Derrick, David Troyer, Jay Palat, John MacDuffie Woodburn, Jon Chmura, Spencer Sugarman

3rd Place

  • Team Number/Name:  Team #15
  • Challenge:  Pittsburgh Cares
  • Team Members:  Andrew McGill, Ryan Pfister, Megan Barrow, Andrew Rush, Ethan Mago

You can read more about the event here and on the Codefest website.  See photos from the event.

And - tune into TechVibe Radio/104.7 FM News Talk this month (Saturdays at noon - no air date when this newsletter went out), to hear the URA Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's Tom Link and Jennifer Wilhelm, and Garrett Cooper from The Forbes Funds, giving you the inside scoop on Codefest. 

Business Bout is Back

Thrill Mill's Business Bout awards are being announced on March 5.  Check out next month's newsletter to get the scoop on the winners.

And...just in case you missed it:

New $250 Venture Capital fund to invest in Pittsburgh area

ALung (a URA borrower) posted its first operating revenue this year (nearly $1 million), making it “commercially viable,” CEO Pete DeComo said.  Read more about Alung and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Incubater.

Here's a nice piece by Bill Flanagan, vice president of corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, that highlights two URA borrowers: Aesynt (formerly McKesson Automated Healthcare) and Aethon.  It's nice to say we helped them out when they were just getting started!

  Follow @poweruppgh for more tech news.


Get to Know: Pam Brown
Job Title:  Senior Compliance Review Specialist

What you actually do:  Gently shepherd projects through the many twists and turns of Federal, State and local regulations.

Years at URA:  30 and counting

Best thing about working at the URA:  The enthusiasm and work ethic of staff

Favorite project/Most satisfying moment in career:  Bryant Street

Education:  University of Michigan – Go Blue!

Where you were before the URA:  Was there a time before URA?

If you were boss for the day:  I would replace all of the heaters

If you weren't at the URA you'd be...basking in the Mediterranean

First job:  Teaching children to drive miniature GM cars at IMA Safetyville, USA

Favorite athlete:  Gabrielle Reese

Favorite restaurant:  California Pizza Kitchen

Favorite thing to do when not at work:  Work out

Secret vice:  Ah, then it wouldn’t be a secret

What three words describe you best:  Focused, funny, patient

Favorite TV show when you were young:  Romper Room

Three favorite foods or three things always in your refrigerator:  Kale, Kale and Kale

Three people (living or dead) you’d like to have dinner with:  Any of my closest friends or family

Actress who would play you in a movie:  Victoria Rowell

People would be surprised to know that...I was once a reporter for the Pittsburgh Press

Family:  Four sisters, one brother, eight nieces, two nephews and one great nephew

Pets:  I feed the cats in the alley

Contact Info:

A Jam-Packed Potpourri of News
The Gardens at Market Square - Rendering by Arquitectonica

URA Out and About and In Magazines

Recently, the URA's Robert Rubinstein, acting executive director, and Rebecca Davidson-Wagner, manager and president of Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives were interviewed about The Gardens at Market Square for the March issue of Tax Credit Advisor Magazine.  They discuss the role New Markets Tax Credits play in the project.  The article, entitled "Pittsburgh’s Thriving Downtown: New Markets Tax Credits Drive New Mixed-Use Real Estate Project Rising on Market Square," begins on page 45.  

On Jan. 29, Celine Gipoulon, a French urban planner and fellow for the German Marshall Fund met with URA Acting E.D. Robert Rubinstein.  Ms. Giopoulon was visiting different US cities and came to Pittsburgh to discuss URA best practices in community-based revitalization. 

On Feb.4, URA Acting E.D. Robert Rubinstein spoke to members of Southwestern Pennsylvania Engineering Outreach, an organization that provides opportunities and mentoring to minority- and women-owned firms.  Robert gave a presentation on the URA's mission and successes to the 90+ people in attendance, including URA staffers Valerie Waters, performance and compliance manager and Marty Kaminski, director of engineering and construction.

Pittsburgh City Living Continuing Ed is back - and there's still time ro register!

The Pittsburgh City Living initiative, in collaboration with the REALTORS® Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh and REALTORS® Educational Institute, is once again offering its continuing education course for real estate professionals.

The course, entitled Pittsburgh City Living, provides tools and information to take the mystery out of selling homes in City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods, and helps potential home buyers find the right City neighborhood in which to live based on their lifestyles.

Led by the URA's Kyra Straussman, director of real estate, and Josette Fitzgibbons, business districts manager, the two-day course will be offered on March 24 and 25.  Interested participants can register online at the REALTORS® Educational Institute.

Like Pittsburgh City Living 

Did You Know...we have Business District Market Profiles online? (And they're updated)!

We realize that small businesses make our City’s economy thrive and business districts make our neighborhoods desirable places to live.  In an effort to support neighborhood revitalization efforts, we have created business district market profiles to provide a statistical snapshot of these areas. Click here to read more and see your neighborhood's profile.

Doughboy Square Apartments are Under Construction.  Click here to read more and check out interior photos.

Home Sweet Affordable Home
Mind Your (RF)Ps and Qs
What's Next for Pittsburgh?
It's Easy Being - and Saving - Green Tips
Gettin' Techy With It : Codefest Winners n'Apps
Notable Quotables
Get to Know: Pam Brown
Here+ Now
A Jam-Packed Potpourri of News
This and That

Request for Development Proposals:

Commercial Land in the Beechview Neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh - 1600, 1601, 1602, 1619 Broadway Avenue 

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is seeking developers and/or development teams for one or multiple sites along the Broadway Avenue corridor in the City’s Beechview neighborhood.  The Broadway Avenue corridor is the neighborhood’s historic business district and is zoned for mixed-use, commercial development. 

Proposals Due:  March 21, 2014 at Noon ET  Read more.

Green Team Tip:  Recycling

Make Sure It's Clean!
One dirty product, or one with food waste still in it, can contaminate an entire bale, containing thousands of pounds of collected recyclable items.  This can cause thousands of items to go to a landfill instead of being recycled.  Cleanliness is essential.  Discard Plastic Caps and Lids.

What is Recyclable?  See the resources listed below.  More items are recyclable than you may think.


Green Team Tip:  Ceiling Fans

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but a ceiling fan can help warm your office (or home) in the winter.  All it takes is five minutes to flip a switch on your fan and rotate the fan blades.

How it Works:  The air gets pulled up, pushing the hot air stuck on the ceiling back down to create a warmer working environment.

How to Switch the Direction of a Ceiling Fan:

  • After you turn off your fan and let the blades stop, all you have to do is toggle a little switch between the lights and the fan blades that usually goes up and down (one sets the ceiling fan to spin clockwise, and the other sets it to spin counter-clockwise).
  • Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise during the winter.  The leading edges of the fan blades should point down, allowing the fan to pull cool air upwards and push warm air near the ceiling down towards the floor.  If possible, set your fan for a low speed.
  • Set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise during the summer.  The leading edges of the fan blades should point up, allowing the fan to move air down and create a breeze underneath the fan.
“This will serve as a pilot for this initiative for the next couple of years, and it will serve as a model for temporary public art around the city,” says Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership CEO Jeremy Waldrup.

“I think we have as strong, if not a stronger, corporate and foundation community here in Pittsburgh,” said Kevin Acklin, the Mayor's chief of staff and chief development officer.

“This is the first significant housing development to occur in Larimer in generations,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

“This really helps kick off Bakery Square 2.0,” said Gregg Perelman, a principal with Walnut Capital.

"The multifamily market is doing very, very well in terms of rent growth.  So we like putting our capital in our hometown," said Shawn Fox, Oxford's director of business development and marketing.

"My parents always said I had a good sense of taste and smell," he said (Matt Bournias, owner of Patstitsio).  "I thought I would give it a try."

“Eventually we want to create an alumni hall so anyone can pop your head in anytime. It keeps the energy going in the space.” - said Thrill Mill CEO Bobby Zappala


It's about momentum.                         

About seizing the moment, because the world is watching. 

Harnessing the excitement, the energy, the opportunity, that is all around us.

And there's no better time to be a part of Pittsburgh than right now.

Right here.  Right now.

Read about Chloe Sevigny's favorite Pittsburgh spots

Discover how Pittsburgh became a dining destination.

Pittsburgh/Allegheny County ranks at or near the top when it comes to arts and culture expenditures by organizations and their audiences, and the impacts of those expenditures on job creation, household income, and tax revenues, even among regions with much larger populations.

Learn about the Robots That Saved Pittsburgh.

Read about the Political Makeover of a Rust Belt City and how Pittsburgh finally banished the old boys network. 

Visiting remarkable Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh gets an A+ from Standard and Poor.

Pittsburgh is ranked among America's most romantic cities.

Pittsburgh-based language learning startup named best ed app in the world by TechCrunch!

Primanti named one of 33 Best College Sandwich Shops in America.


March Dates

March 1   Read Across America Day/Dr. Seuss's Birthday

March 4  Mardi Gras

March 4  Paczki Day

March 5  Ash Wednesday

March 8     International Women's Day

March 9     Daylight Saving Time begins (Spring Forward)

March  15    St. Patrick's Day Parade

March  16   Full Worm Moon

March 16  Purim

March 17     St. Patrick's Day

March 18     March Madness begins

March 20    First Day of Spring

Monthly Inspiration:  The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.  ~ Author Unknown

Word of the Month:  Twizzle

twiz·zle  noun  ˈtwizəl  

A twizzle is a multirotational one-foot turn in figure skating.  The twizzle is most commonly seen in ice dancing.  The difference between a twizzle and a spin:  twizzles travel and move down the ice; spins stay in one place. 

Used in a sentence:  No, no, the announcer said Meryl Davis and Charlie White are doing twizzles not Twizzlers!

Fish Fry Month is back!  Whether you're foregoing meat on Fridays because of Lent, or just looking for a delicious fish sandwich and some haluski, here are some quick links to Fish Fry Guides - courtesy of Pittsburgh Catholic.  There's also a PDF you can print and a map on facebook.

Feeling lucky?  See if you can find all of the four-leaf clovers before time runs out.



Share this newsletter |