PITTSBURGH – County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced today that the greater Homestead business district and Aspinwall Borough have been selected to participate in the 2013 Allegheny Together Program. The two communities will focus on attracting and retaining businesses in their “Main Street” communities through community organizing, strategic technical assistance and focused commercial revitalization projects.
“We welcome Homestead and Aspinwall to the Allegheny Together Program,” said Fitzgerald. “Both of these communities have traditional business districts with very unique amenities and flavor. They have strong business stakeholder buy-in for this program, the commitment of their municipality to participate and partner with them, and have demonstrated a need for additional resources to help them build upon the successes they’ve already realized.”
Allegheny Together was developed by Allegheny County in 2007 as a way to strengthen local economies using the Main Street Approach created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Allegheny Together was a 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council. Town Center Associates and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation were hired by Allegheny County as the primary consultants to the program. Both organizations have a wealth of experience and successful track records in commercial revitalization activities.
Currently, nine (9) communities are participating in the program which encompasses over 650 small businesses representing approximately 1.5 million square feet of real estate. Over the course of the first three years of the program, 950 community members have attended over 48 community input workshops on issues ranging from historic preservation to business development. Over 40 volunteers currently serve as active Business District Advisory Committee members which is critical to long-term sustainability of the program.
Through the program, each community goes through a planning process that results in the development of a strategic plan as well as annual action plans. Land use and community design are key components of the planning process which also analyzes the municipality’s codes and zoning ordinances, traffic and parking data, and market research. In addition, each community is provided with historic design guidelines to encourage thoughtful restorations of historic storefronts and buildings.
Allegheny Together is a five year program offering significant technical assistance and planning resources. Funding opportunities are a component of the program support, and participant communities commit to providing match funding over the course of their program involvement.
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