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Ambridge Redevelopment Receives $5 Million

Thursday, July 08, 2010
By Brian David, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During his first term, Gov. Ed Rendell visited Ambridge and pledged to support an ambitious redevelopment project in the town’s northern end.

With his second term winding to an end, the governor included $5 million toward the redevelopment in a $600 million list of capital projects he signed Wednesday at Connelley Technical School in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“He’s holding true to his word,” state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Ambridge, said Wednesday. “This last appropriation in his term should help put the project over the hump.”

The $5 million requires a one-to-one match in local funds, Mr. Matzie said. “It’s not free money,” he said.

The Northern Ambridge Redevelopment Project is a public-private partnership inspired by Australian tycoon Rob Moltoni.

It already has established the New Economy Business Park, is in the process of straightening Merchant Street, has provided a new home for the Beaver County Emergency Services Center and is still clearing old industrial land for additional uses.

The project has received about $4 million in state funding over the years.

Overall, the project is a showpiece for the potential of public-private partnership, he said.

Without public help, it would have been impossible to clear the old industrial buildings from the project’s 22-square-block footprint; with it, the project is providing usable space in the heart of town adjacent to the historic district around Old Economy Village.

“It’s very important for the naysayers, the people who say government shouldn’t be involved,” Mr. Matzie said. “This shows that cleanup can occur, and you can revive your town.”

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