Landmarks Community Capital Corporation and URA Invest $1,135,000 in East Liberty
January 23, 2008
On January 24th at 10:00 a.m., United States Representative Mike Doyle, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, State Senator Jim Ferlo, State Representative Joe Preston, Mark Meiser from the Denver-based MEIZ Development Company, LLC (MEIZ) and the community will meet at the YMCA Building, 120 Whitfield Street, to celebrate a $1,135,000 investment in East Liberty made by Landmarks Community Capital Corporation (LCCC) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to East Liberty Development Incorporated (ELDI).
LCCC is a newly created non-profit subsidiary of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) with a mission to provide investment capital, development expertise and pre- and post-technical assistance to low- and moderate-income communities during the early stages of development. Within eight weeks of its inception, LCCC made its first loan from its Urban Economic Loan Fund for $885,000 to ELDI. Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of LCCC, stated “this loan represents the largest single loan ever made by PHLF or LCCC to a community-based organization and follows our mission of being a first-in, first-out financing organization for holistic community revitalization in urban cores throughout the region.”
ELDI will use the funds to rehabilitate two historically significant, but dilapidated Queen Anne style homes (c. 1892) located at 5809-15 Rippey Street and to acquire and rehabilitate the YMCA building (c. 1908) located in downtown East Liberty. The Rippey
Street houses will be converted into eight market-rate condominiums to satisfy the demand for affordable housing in East Liberty.
ELDI has partnered with MEIZ to convert the YMCA building into market-rate condominiums with retail space on the first floor. Mark Meiser, Principal of MEIZ, said, the YMCA “is a historic building perfectly positioned for cutting-edge, mixed-use development in East Liberty. MEIZ thrives on the challenges of reclaiming old buildings that are significant to a neighborhood, but need to be updated to meet today’s vibrant lifestyle. It’s also great to work in cities where organizations like LCCC and the URA support urban core development, a needed component for regenerative revitalization.” “A basic tenant of sustainability is appreciating the built environment,” said Senator Jim Ferlo. “ELDI and MEIZ are to be commended for thinking creatively about how to preserve and protect an historically notable building with an adaptive reuse that addresses the critical need for housing in a resurgent East Liberty core.”
A portion of LCCC’s loan was used to acquire the YMCA property, and the URA also committed $250,000 to the project. Maelene Myers, Executive Director of ELDI said, “These will be the first market-rate condominiums in our downtown core and will be a key part of the redevelopment of East Liberty’s town square. ELDI is grateful to LCCC and the URA for their support.”
Both the Rippey Street and YMCA rehabilitations are important to the revitalization of East Liberty as a whole. “The revitalization of East Liberty will have a beneficial effect on the region, particularly with the synergistic approach to collaborative revitalization that ELDI uses, which I believe is an essential component for effective urban neighborhood revival,” stated Congressman Doyle.
Representative Joe Preston stated, “True urban revitalization begins with the integration of mixed-income families, thriving businesses and committed residents, which are all part of the re-birth of East Liberty and is sure to occur with the dedication of ELDI and the commitment and support of LCCC and the URA.”