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U.S. Steel keeps headquarters in Pennsylvania, invests in Mon Valley

As part of Manufacturing Day, Gov. Tom Corbett and officials from the United States Steel Corporation announced that the company will remain headquartered in Pennsylvania. 
 
The state is committing $30.7 million in grants to U.S. Steel as part of the $187 million initiative to support 4,300 Pennsylvania employees and expand Mon Valley Works operations. The company will re-line one of its Mon Valley Works blast furnaces at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock and make improvements to its railroad transportation infrastructure. 
 
“Pennsylvania is the keystone of American manufacturing,” said Corbett. “By addressing all 15 recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council, we’ve worked with the private sector to leverage more than $4.9 billion in total investment to create more than 22,000 manufacturing and related jobs, and retained more than 58,000 manufacturing and related jobs. The backbone of U. S. Steel is its workers, and, today, we're investing in the proud Pennsylvania men and women who forge this iron and who can compete and win against any global competitor. When we ‘Make it In PA,’ you know it's done right."   
 
The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, a group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.
 
“Today, steelmaking is one of the most highly advanced types of manufacturing, and our industry creates real and substantial economic value,” said Mario Longhi, President and CEO of U.S. Steel. “We’re proud to make a material that is vital to building and maintaining a modern society. And we’re proud that so much of that work happens right here in Pennsylvania.”
 
Gov. Corbett’s visit to U. S. Steel was part of a statewide effort to promote Pennsylvania manufacturing and address all of the 15 recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council. In 2012, the 24-member Council outlined 15 key recommendations to help Pennsylvania remain competitive in today’s global economy.
 
Administration efforts to address all 15 recommendations include strategic investments in workforce development and education, creating a state energy policy, investing in infrastructure improvements via Act 89, opening new domestic and international markets, implementing tax and regulatory reform, improving access to capital, and making government work better by encouraging innovation.
 
Projects supported by the Corbett administration are expected to leverage more than $4.9 billion in private investment and create more than 22,000 manufacturing and related jobs and retain more than 58,000 manufacturing and related jobs.

Lawrenceville's mini-milestone: Wildcard turns five

When owner Rebecca Morris opened Wildcard at 4209 Butler St. in October 2009, Lawrenceville was a different place. Since then, the neighborhood has transformed into one of the city’s most active communities. And Wildcard has been a key player in the neighborhood's retail revitalization.
 
Morris moved to Lawrenceville from Shaler Township in 2003 and said she wanted to open the shop in her own back yard. When she first opened the stationery, craft and gift shop, she said she had to invest in word of mouth and getting people to come to Lawrenceville. While there was some foot traffic, it was nothing like the bustling weekend shoppers the neighborhood sees today.
 
“So many businesses have opened, even in the last five years,” she said. “I really like that a lot of them are not chains … [they are] a lot of small businesses.”
 
On Saturday, Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wildcard will host its Fifth Anniversary Fantastic Festival of Fun, which will include free tote bags to the first 200 customers who spend $10 or more. The event will feature coffee from Espresso a Mano in the morning and an in-store scavenger hunt to win a Wildcard gift card or giant prize basket. And the store will also host an Artist & Small Business Owner Happy Hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
 
The happy hour will feature several of Wildcard’s artists and vendors, including Nick Caruso (MakeBelieveIt.com), Allison Glancey (strawberryluna.com), Becki Hollen & Chris Bencivenga (EverydayBalloonsShop.com), Amy Garbark (GarbellaDesign.com) and Matthew Buchholz (AlternateHistories.com).
 
The Fifth Anniversary Fantastic Festival of Fun will also celebrate the grand opening of Wildcard’s online store, set to launch on the same day. Morris said the online shop was created for customers wanting to send gifts outside of Pittsburgh. She noted that it may take some time for Wildcard’s entire collection to be featured online, but Pittsburgh-inspired items will be some of the first to premiere on the website.
 
Wildcard’s fifth anniversary is also part of Full Time Pittsburgh, a city-wide, open-source festival with events that center around art, design, small business, music and creativity. The festival will run at various locations throughout the city from Thursday, Oct. 16, to Sunday, Oct. 19. Learn more at fulltimepgh.com.
 
Morris thanked Lawrenceville and Pittsburgh for the past five years and invites Pittsburghers to come out and enjoy the free event on Saturday.


Source: Wildcard, Rebecca Morris 

Bloomfield welcomes 4121 Main, a mixed-use arts space and espresso bar

4121 Main a mixed-use space featuring quality handmade items, curated vintage wares, art and an espresso bar, is coming to Bloomfield. The 4121 Main venture is a partnership among Thommy Conroy and Quelcy Kogel, the stylists behind Harvest & Gather, and local coffee expert Kira Hoeg.
 
The 4121 Main brand premiered at the curated Trade Union trunk show, where it provided pour-over coffees, whole-grain baked goods, prints and artisan products. While the shop is not yet open for regular business hours, 4121 Main’s will join with Unblurred for its first public event on Nov. 7. The partners behind 4121 Main invite Pittsburghers to enjoy an evening of art and Conroy’s new series of alphabet prints with a dark, fairy-tale theme, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 4121 Main St.
 
The space is a creative collaboration that will feature curated products with a common theme or style while providing quality coffee and espresso and whole-grain baked goods. 4121 Main will also host events, workshops and local happenings.
 
When 4121 Main does open with daily hours, the partners envision an evolving space influenced by their personal passions, experiences and seasonal baking and coffee products. Sometimes the shop may offer handmade ceramics, on other visits patrons may peruse a selection of vintage finds. The group promises quality products for the customer who shops with intention.
 
The varied influences come from Conroy, Kogel and Hoeg’s backgrounds, travels and interests. Conroy described the partnership as taking their available skills and creating a larger picture.  
 
Hoeg has an anthropology background and sees coffee as a cultural pastime. In addition to her experience with Pittsburgh coffee and espresso bars, she has traveled from Scandinavia to Turkey to California to explore how people are communicating with coffee and what other coffee and espresso retailers are doing in the United States.
 
“Exchanging time and moments has always been my interest in coffee,” Hoeg said about the type of atmosphere she envisions at 4121 Main, adding the she wants to create a coffee culture inviting ideas, dialogue and curiosity. Also important to Hoeg is the transparency of where the coffee was grown and the craft of roasting it. She will be sourcing from Heart Coffee in Portland and will be working on an espresso machine hand-built in Holland.
 
Kogel will provide the baked goods to accompany the espresso bar. She currently chronicles her passion for baking with whole grains and natural ingredients on her blog With the Grains. She said she hopes to offer cakes and breads that are “a wholesome way to satisfy your sweet tooth.”
 
Harvest & Gather’s Conroy and Kogel will rebrand under the 4121 Main moniker and will offer event-design services. Conroy described the group as “natural hosts and entertainers” and said this aspect will be part of 4121’s model.
 
The collaborative setting will also feature workshops and have a DIY-inspired element. The partners said they hope to offer how-to sessions from floral arrangements to entertaining and decorating tips.
 
The first event will be held on Friday, Nov. 7, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 4121 Main St. in Bloomfield between Liberty and Penn avenues.
 

 

Pittsburgh's first urban gardening shop opens in Lawrenceville

Lawrenceville welcomed Pittsburgh's first urban gardening store last week with the opening of City Grows, a new gardening and gift shop with an urban twist.

Located at 5208 Butler St. in Upper Lawrenceville, the organic garden shop specializes in container and vertical gardens for the city dweller. City Grows carries fresh herbs and vegetables, dry herbs, composters, rain barrels and educational gardening books. The store also offers an array of green gifts, from organic skincare products to candles. 
 
"Everything is made from recycled or reclaimed wood," said City Grows owner Patty Logan of her shop’s unique container materials. She described merchandise from vertical container gardens made from re-used mason jars to sustainable hangers for indoor herb gardens.
 
Logan said the opening was catered by neighboring Upper Lawrenceville shop 52nd Street Market and offered acoustic music and raffles. She said the opening was well-received in the neighborhood.
 
“Lawrenceville, on its own, is growing as a young urban population,” she said, noting residents have an interest in gardens but lack the space. “People here get it …  I knew when I had the concept to do this shop this is exactly where I needed to be."
 
In the future, Logan hopes to offer chicken coops and beekeeping equipment. City Grows will also provide classes in organic gardening, beekeeping and backyard chickens.

Source: City Grows, Patty Logan 
 

Landmarks Community Capital Corporation awards $99,000 loan to Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation

Landmarks Community Capital Corporation, a nonprofit lending subsidiary of Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, closed on a $99,000 construction loan to the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation in September to renovate its storied community center.
 
The loan will provide rehabilitation funds for BGC's community center, located on North Pacific Avenue in Garfield. This building, a former Methodist church constructed in 1898, serves as a primary meeting place for public events in the Garfield community.
 
Rick Swartz, BGC executive director, explained that the Landmarks Community Capital Corporation was interested in the community center as an important part of the neighborhood. Although the 19th-century church is not a certified historic landmark, the building has a lot of history, Swartz said.
 
“It is something of a historical asset in the neighborhood,” Swartz said. 
 
The first phase of building improvements include: new flooring in the main hall, window replacements, heating and cooling upgrades, new entry doors, painting and enhanced lighting. Exterior brickwork, window replacements and outdoor painting are also planned to enhance the building as a visible part of the neighborhood.
 
The BGC serves Bloomfield, Garfield and Friendship; the center provides programming for those communities, including a BGC children’s summer camp. Swartz says these improvements will benefit events and programming.
 
He said renovations will make the space more attractive for neighbors seeking a family-friendly venue. He said he hopes the upgrades to lighting and lower-volume heating and cooling can attract more professional and job orientation sessions. The improved temperature systems will also help with costs to the nonprofit.
 
Swartz said it is difficult to find grants and gifts for building improvements of this kind. But the loan from the Landmarks Community Capital Corporation is helping the BGC get started.  Swartz noted that the Urban Redevelopment Authority did assist the BGC with a $5,000 grant for community center renovations. And, he said, Garfield resident and architect Gary Cirrincione is lending a hand by assisting in plans and overseeing construction.
 
“We’re just trying to make it … a space you feel very comfortable in,” Swartz said, adding that he hopes neighbors see it as a place for meetings, baby showers and anniversary parties in the future.
 
Construction on the BGC community center should be completed December 2014.
 
Source: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, Rick Swartz

Governor Corbett highlights $28.5 million Birmingham Bridge repair project as example of Act 89

Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett stood before the Birmingham Bridge and declared that its $28.5 million repair project underscores the benefits coming to Pennsylvania because of Act 89, a transportation plan.
 
Act 89, which the governor signed in November, increases transportation investment by $2.3 billion by 2018.
 
"My administration is working hard to deliver the hundreds of additional projects for this year from Act 89 proceeds, and the Birmingham Bridge is a very visible example of what we are delivering," Gov. Corbett said at the news conference near the bridge.
 
The 2,747-foot-long, 19-span bridge opened in 1976 and carries 23,000 vehicles a day. With resources from Act 89, PennDOT was able to accelerate the timetable so work on the bridge could begin this year.
 
Act 89 also supports jobs for local workers, the governor added, noting that the transportation plan saved an estimated 12,000 jobs and will create 18,000 additional jobs this year and 50,000 jobs in the next five years.
 
PennDOT's latest projections show that more than $2.3 billion will be invested into the state's highway and bridge network this year, more than $800 million above what would have been available without Act 89.
 
In Pittsburgh, Act 89 spared the Port Authority of Allegheny County from a trend of cutting service and alienating riders, according to the Governor’s Office. Act 89 funding allows the Port Authority to target improvements, such as overcrowding on routes and on-time performance issues.
 
Joseph B. Fay Co. of Tarentum was awarded the $28.5 million contract for the work on the Birmingham Bridge. It will involve steel repairs, bearing replacements, substructure repairs, light pole replacements, a concrete overlay and a complete repainting. The work is now underway and will be finished in 2017.
 
PennDOT has started work on more than 200 Act 89-funded projects covering more than 1,600 miles of roads and 83 bridges. Overall, more than 900 projects are expected to get underway this year, both from Act 89 and prior funding streams.
 
Source: Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
 

Frick Art & Historical Center receives $3 million redevelopment grant

The Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze has secured a $3 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from Harrisburg. The funding will go toward building a new education and community center, which is the second phase of the museum's current $15 million expansion project.
 
"This remarkable gift propels the campaign toward its $15 million goal and affirms the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's support of this important project, which will greatly enhance [the] Frick's ability to provide the public with essential educational and cultural experiences," said Frick Trustee and Campaign Chair Charles R. Burke, Jr.
 
Before learning of the RACP funding, the Frick had raised just over $10.5 million toward its campaign goal. The $3 million RACP grant, part of an economic growth initiative program, puts the total raised at more than $13.5 million.
 
Funding for the Frick Education and Community Center project will serve East End neighborhoods and enhance the museum. The project will broaden the Frick's educational outreach to children and allow the museum to better accommodate bus tours and seniors. The project is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2016.
 
"We are grateful for the generous support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and believe that the Education and Community Center project will strengthen the Frick as a cultural and educational anchor in the East End," said Carolyn Reed, Chair of the Frick's Board of Trustees.
 
This summer, the Frick opened a new orientation center, marking the completion of Phase I of the expansion project that began in May 2013. The new facility serves as a focal point for arriving visitors and includes a range of educational interactive activities. The orientation center also houses a new museum store.
 
“[Phase II] will include new learning spaces,” said Greg Langel, media and marketing manager at the Frick.
 
The second phase of the expansion project calls for a new education center in the current Carriage Gallery of the Car and Carriage Museum, a renovated facility onsite. Renovating the Carriage Gallery will also help the Frick to enhance collection storage, Langel said.

The project will allow for construction of a new community center that will provide additional education and program space and create a venue for events. The center will have a prep kitchen to better accommodate bus tours and field trips.
 
“[The community center will] increase our ability to serve greater numbers of individuals,” Langel said. “We’re really excited about the grant and it pushes so close to our total goal. It’s a statement that the Commonwealth supports arts and culture in western Pennsylvania.”
 
 

Trade Union hosts trunk show at Mon Wharf

Trade Union Trunk Show is back for its Autumn/Winter fashion and style event. On Saturday, Oct. 4, the biannual trunk show will bring locally minted goods from clothing to furniture to the Mon Wharf, Downtown— showcasing an urban, uniquely Pittsburgh setting.  
 
Launched this past spring, the Trade Union Trunk Show seeks to bring together the city's established and emerging brands and depict the Made in Pittsburgh moniker as one rooted in creativity and quality.  
 
With each event, Trade Union presents a one-of-a-kind space and local partners to host the day’s activities. For their A/W 2014 Trunk Show, Trade Union worked with lead sponsor, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, to bring the free event to the Mon Wharf. Vendors, food and local DJ sets handpicked by VIA as part of their 2014 festival will enliven the event.
 
“We are always eager to partner on creative re-inventions of space in Downtown,” said Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “The Trade Union Trunk Show again extends our mission to support creative uses of unique urban spaces in our Downtown neighborhood.”
 
Michael McAllister, Trade Union co-producer, said the event is more than the average craft fair. While vendors and goods are local, Trade Union strives to ensure a cohesive, stylized event. From flyers to displays, Harvest & Gather is styling the trunk show.  McAllister explained that he and event co-producer Emily Slagel of Mid-Atlantic Mercantile see design and creativity as “an integral part of Pittsburgh’s future growth and development.”
 
He said they were inspired by stylized trunk shows in other cities and wanted to bring the model to Pittsburgh for products minted and made in the city. About 15 vendors will sell products including stationery, letterpress, furniture and vintage clothing.
 
Vendors include: Mid-Atlantic Mercantile Found Home Collection (handpicked and found homewares); Royal Establishment; Merissa Lombardo/Pete Johnson Studios; Homestead Supply Co. (leather goods); Perry & Co.; Kicky Feet Vintage; Tugboat Printshop; Bones & All; Studebaker Metals (a local designer whose jewelry is available at Urban Outfitters); Sapling Press; Red Pop Shop; Modesto Studios; UpTo; and Spaces Corners (photography books).
 
McAllister said two restaurants are also premiering: TAKÖ, globally inspired tacos from the newest Downtown venture from the Meat & Potatoes team; and 4121 Main, a mixed-use space featuring handmade goods, art and an espresso bar coming soon to Lawrenceville.
 
Trade Union will be held at the Mon Wharf, 1 Ft Pitt Blvd., Saturday, Oct. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Heinz History Center opens new Museum Conservation Center

The Senator John Heinz History Center opened its new Museum Conservation Center last week, providing Pittsburgh with a place to bring heirlooms -- from family Bibles to photographs -- for professional services and advice on caring for antiques.

By appointment, trained staff will provide visitors with information on how to preserve their treasures, including works of art, photographs, wedding dresses, and furniture. The Museum Conservation Center also connects visitors with conservators should their heirlooms require professional repair.
 
With the opening of the new Conservation Center, the History Center becomes one of the first museums in the nation to provide professional conservation services directly to the public.
 
“It’s a place where visitors can link with professional services and seek advice,” said Barbara Antel, Conservation Services Manager.
 
The Conservation Center provides visitors with access to the same quality assessment and treatments that the museum provides for its own collections. 
 
The center is also an education resource. It opened to the public with a hands-on workshop focusing on preserving paper documents. Experts provided tips on how to best preserve birth certificates, passports, letters and other materials.
 
“The process of conservation is to preserve an object from further deterioration,” Antel said about the center’s educational efforts.
 
The next family archives workshop is Nov. 22. A “Holiday Heritage Workshop,” discussing care for delicate ornaments, linens and antique china, will be held Dec. 11.
 
In addition to conservation services, the nine-floor LEED-certified green building also houses the History Center’s collection of more than 32,000 artifacts. The new 55,000-square-foot storage space features Smithsonian-quality lighting, temperature, humidity, pest control and security.
 
The Conservation Center is located behind the History Center in the Strip District at 1221 Penn Ave. and is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, primarily by appointment.
 
 

VIA Festival to use Union Trust Building for pop-up event

This year’s VIA Festival, a Pittsburgh-based music and new media celebration, will be held from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5 with 18 events at various locations across the city, including a pop-up event on Oct. 4 at the Union Trust Building at 501 Grant Street, Downtown. 
 
“It’s a music festival, combined with digital culture,” said VIA co-director Quinn Leonowicz. “[It’s] Pittsburgh’s largest celebration of music and digital culture.”
 
Now in its fifth year, VIA utilizes an underused or vacant venue every year. This year, with the help of the Mayor’s Office, VIA has acquired the Union Trust.
 
“We just try to pick non-traditional spaces, something that has been underutilized,” he said, adding that the city approved the venue only about a month ago. In the meantime, Leonowicz, co-director Lauren Goshinski and a team of volunteers have been working quickly to prepare for the festival.
 
VIA will take over a variety of spaces on the first floor and lower level of the building, including installation of a 30-foot bubble in the building’s central rotunda, which is capped by a stained glass dome. The bubble is described as an “immersive audio-visual environment” with ASMR immersive therapy and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
 
A former department store will be turned into a digital sculpture gallery and will simulate real life and virtual experiences with custom iPad apps, video games and virtual figure drawing classes, using the online platform Second Life.

The lower level of the Union Trust Building will turn into a multi-stage nightclub for audio-visual performances featuring local, national and international artists such as Zebra Katz, Blue Hawaii, L-Vis 1990, Traxman, Cakes da Killa, Cities Aviv, Diode Milliampere and Troxum.
 
While entertainment and experiences will vary from audio showcases to film, VIA also has an educational element. On Oct. 3, a conference at Carnegie Mellon University will feature artists discussing Ableton Music software, workshops and musical performances.
 
Leonowicz said he sees VIA as an umbrella for future events, including upcoming VIA performances in Chicago. Although Leonowicz said VIA will always be based in Pittsburgh, he hopes this collaboration between Pittsburgh and Chicago will form an artist exchange. He compared it to other arts events that start in cities like New York and spread across the country.
 
For more information about VIA, please visit, via2014.com.
 
Source: Quinn Leonowicz, VIA 

Snap up some style with Project Pop Up: Fashion in Market Square

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is bringing a day of pop-up retail to Market Square tomorrow with Project Pop Up: Fashion.
 
Men's and women's clothing, jewelry and accessories from 13 local designers, fashion trucks, screen-printing vendors and Downtown retailers will be on sale from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the PDP’s third Project Pop Up: Fashion event. DJ Pandemic will play dancehall music during the downtown lunchtime event.
 
Fashions range from vintage to handmade to high-end, with a price point for every budget, said PDP Vice President of Marketing and Communications Leigh White.

“What I really like best about [Project Pop Up: Fashion] is there’s something for everyone,” White said.
 
As a special incentive, Larrimor’s will have a cash booth in the square, giving away cash and gift cards to shoppers who pre-register at the Downtown boutique by picking up shop President Tom Michael’s business card. 
 
Project Pop Up retailers include Boutique 208, Boutique la Passerelle, Larrimor's, Macy's and Serendipity. Other participants include Identity Crisis Legwear, Cassidy Girl Collection, DeadBuryDead, Mallet Hill and New York New York. And mobile boutiques Broke Little Rich Girl, Style Truck and The Vintage Valet will be on hand, too. 
 
White called the PDP’s midday pop-up events unexpected fun for Downtown workers. 

Source: Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Leigh White

Pittsburgh PARK(ing) Day is back Friday with installations throughout the city

For one day only, parking spaces will transform across the city into small parks, green spaces and even a beach in an effort to get citizens talking about sustainability and transportation.

Tomorrow, Sept. 19, is PARK(ing) Day, an annual, international one-day event where artists, designers and citizens can transform parking spots into small parks and art installations.
 
This is PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh’s seventh year. The event began in San Francisco in 2005 and its message has travelled around the world. PARK(ing) Day is an opportunity to get communities talking about improvements, green space and transportation while thinking creatively.
 
This year, Pittsburgh’s pop-up parks stem from neighborhood improvement initiatives and fun. PARK(ing) Day Committee Member Thor Erickson said the Polish Hill Civic Association will use traffic cones to create a discussion about street traffic.  Erickson said the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Penn Future, Design Center and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership are collaborating in the 900 block of Liberty Avenue, downtown, to showcase urban improvement efforts.
 
Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council members will transform their parking spaces into a beach, according to Erickson.
 
The Lawrenceville Bike and Pedestrian Committee organized a mini golf course along Butler Street, between Doughboy Square and 39th Street, as part of the neighborhood’s PARK(ing) Day initiatives. Breakfast, lunch and dinner golfing sessions will be offered, with a party and music by DJ Duke to follow in the Iron City Bikes and Franktuary parking lot from 6 PM to 8 PM.
 
To find PARK(ing) Day events in your neighborhood, Parking Day Pittsburgh has provided a map with events and times listed throughout the city. 
 
 
Source: PARK(ing) Day, PARK(ing) Day Pittsburgh, Lawrenceville Pittsburgh, Thor Erickson, Lawrenceville Bike and Pedestrian Committee 

Pens' payment promises bright future for Hill District

For decades, the Pittsburgh Penguins made hockey history at the Civic Arena, the team's storied home that separated Downtown from the Hill District. 

The Penguins have since moved to a new home nearby at the Consol Energy Center, but they haven't forgotten their roots at that hallowed site in the Lower Hill. Earlier this month, the Penguins agreed to pay full market value on the land where their beloved Igloo once stood, according to a WTAE-TV article. The 28 acres of land will make way for development in the Hill District.

Mayor Bill Peduto announced agreements among Penguins management, the Hill District community and local government to transform the entire neighborhood and provide tens of millions in financing dollars for community improvements, jobs and housing.

“This plan will build transformational wealth for the residents of the greater Hill District,” Peduto said. “It provides the financial resources to build the ladders of opportunity between the 28 acres and the rest of the Hill District.”
 
Joining Peduto at the announcement were Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Urban Redevelopment Authority Chairman Kevin Acklin, Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle, state Sen. Jay Costa and Penguins Chief Operating Officer Travis Williams.
 
The announcement was the culmination of more than 50 meetings among city, county, state, federal, community and team officials on how to best leverage the redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill to provide for business development, jobs, housing and infrastructure improvements to the entire area. 

Through a new tax increment financing district, property tax growth from the redevelopment of the Lower Hill will be used to pay for improvements in six other neighborhoods across the Hill: Bluff, Crawford Roberts, Terrace Village, Middle Hill, Bedford Dwellings and Upper Hill.
 
For more information about the announcement, see the mayor’s online announcement.
 
Source: Office of Mayor William Peduto 


 

Pittsburgh Public Market hosts first-ever Food Swap

From spicy wing sauce to eggs laid by backyard hens, if it's homemade or homegrown, it's up for grabs at the city's first-ever food swap.

The Pittsburgh Public Market and Good Food Pittsburgh’s Emily Catalano are hosting the Pittsburgh Food Swap on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 2-4 p.m. at the market.
 
Catalano says that the city has played host to smaller canning and themed swaps in the past, “but this is something that is a little more than canned goods.”
 
She says she first got the idea for while living in Philadelphia, where she attended food swaps. She was delighted to see the community come together — while some goods were made by professionals, the majority were shared by home chefs.
 
“It was a really awesome community feeling,” she said. 
 
When it comes to what foods can be swapped, almost anything goes. In Philadelphia and with swaps she's attended, Catalano saw homemade truffles, jam, extracts, cookies, whiskey, marshmallows and ravioli.
 
So what can’t be swapped?
 
“No Oreos,” Catalano said with a laugh. She also asked that any questionable homemade goods stay in the home pantry.
 
All food must be individually packaged. Containers of soup are great, but don’t bring a pot. Participants must sign a waiver that their food is safe for family, friends and neighbors to enjoy. She suggests labeling food with safe-to-consume-by dates.
 
Catalano said she went on a spicy kick for the swap and is contributing wing sauce, pickled jalapenos and bread and butter pickles. She said others who have signed up are bringing eggs from backyard hens, strawberry plants and baked goods.
 
Only those sharing items can participate in the swap, and attendees must register for this free event online. The swap begins at 2 p.m. with mingling and sampling; after 30 minutes of greetings and tastings, the swap commences.
 
Catalano said contributors should bring samples for others to try. It works like this: Bring 15 packages of cookies, leave with 15 different items from other swappers. Catalano suggested bringing 10 to 15 items to trade.
 
Sometimes you don’t get everything you want. "But most of the time, you end up getting a pretty decent haul,” Catalano said.

 

Salvation Army opens new South Side Family Store

A new Salvation Army Family Store opens in the South Side tomorrow with plenty of fanfare, including all-day free giveaways and the chance to win a 40-inch flat-screen TV. 

The 15,000-square-foot store at at 855 E. Carson Street will sell bargain-priced clothing, household items, electronics, books, toys, furniture and collectibles.  Every Wednesday, the store will offer Family Day discounts.
 
The Family Store opens at the intersection of East Carson and South Ninth streets for the first time at 10 a.m. tomorrow, following a ribbon-cutting event at 9:45 a.m. Opening day customers can enjoy free coffee and donuts in the morning.
 
"Our new Family Store will offer more selection and more bargains that appeal to everyone in order to provide our customers with a better shopping experience and support our social services work," says Martina O'Leary, administrator at The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh.  "We really look forward to contributing to the community at all levels." 
 
The store will bring more than 10 new jobs to the area, O'Leary said. Revenue from the Family Store supports the Salvation Army's rehabilitation center, which offers free services to community residents who struggle with alcohol, drugs and other life issues. Sales from the Family Store are the center's only funding source. Needy families may also receive vouchers for free furniture or clothing from the store through other Salvation Army programs.
 
Tax receipts will be provided for any donations received during store hours, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. After-hours clothing donations can be dropped in bins in the parking lot.
 
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