Fitzgerald Encourages Communities to Apply for County’s Award-Winning Commercial District Revitalization Program

Contact:Iris Whitworth, County
412-350-5594 office

PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald today encouraged communities to apply for Allegheny Together, an innovative, ongoing program to attract and retain small businesses by revitalizing the county’s traditional “Main Street” commercial districts. Successful applicants will receive a host of services from professional planners, architects, real estate experts, community development specialists and project managers over a five-year period.

“Statistics show that the economic strength of our nation, state and region lies in the success of our small businesses,” said Fitzgerald. “In Allegheny County, we are fortunate to have 43 traditional business districts spread throughout our boroughs and townships. The goal of Allegheny Together is to maintain and enhance these existing commercial areas so they continue to bring jobs and vitality to our communities.”

Communities chosen to participate in Allegheny Together will complete a comprehensive planning process in consultation with the county’s Department of Economic Development, as well as Town Center Associates and the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, the primary consultants for the program. The end result will be a community-driven action plan that includes market studies, traffic and parking analyses, historic preservation analysis, design guidance, and ordinance review.

Allegheny Together will provide management services, such as central office support, newsletter development, business communication, recognition awards, online property databases, and a community-specific website. The program will also focus on preservation of historical architecture and will provide matching grants and low-cost financing for improvement projects, including façade enhancements, streetscaping, business signage, awnings, and architectural lighting.

Allegheny Together applications will be available on January 27 at World Wide Web Icon economic.alleghenycounty.us or by contacting Joe Scullion at 412-350-1060. Applications are due by February 1013 (see note below), and County Executive Fitzgerald will announce the new communities selected for Allegheny Together on February 24.  Note:  Please be advised that the application deadline for Allegheny Together has been extended to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2012.

Currently, Bellevue, Bridgeville, Carnegie, Coraopolis, Dormont, Elizabeth Borough, Stowe Township, Tarentum, and Verona are participating in Allegheny Together. Their nine traditional commercial districts encompass more than 650 small businesses and approximately 1.5 million square feet of real estate.

“The level of participation, support and success in these communities has been astounding,” added Fitzgerald. “During the first three years of implementation, 68 new small businesses have opened, and nearly 1000 residents have attended 48 community input workshops on issues ranging from historic preservation to business development. We look forward to expanding the program’s success, and I encourage other municipalities to apply to participate in Allegheny Together.”

Twenty façade improvement projects are currently underway in participating Allegheny Together communities. Tarentum is preparing for a downtown redevelopment project that will bring several new professional businesses to the borough. Bellevue and Verona are in the process of streetscape design and engineering work that will lead to improvements in the coming year. Additional information on the progress of all nine Allegheny Together communities is available at World Wide Web Icon www.alleghenytogether.com.

The International Development Council recognized Allegheny Together’s accomplishments and impacts by presenting the program with the 2009 Excellence in Economic Development Award.

# # #