Landmarks & Wilkinsburg Initiate Neighborhood Study
December 14, 2004
Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation staff have been working with residents and business owners in Wilkinsburg on a Wilkinsburg Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. Modeled after a program in Philadelphia, the WNTI as it has come to be known, collects detailed data on vacant and abandoned buildings in a specific Wilkinsburg neighborhood. The date includes
property owner, tax liens, sales price and lot size.
The study area is a 6-blocks near St. James Church known as the Hamnett Place neighborhood. 54 parcels have been researched; and with extensive community input including tours, community-wide meetings, and individual conversations with social service agencies and area churches, recommendations have been made for rehab or demolition. An executive summary of this report will be available on the web in upcoming weeks.
Of the 54 parcels examined, 19 were determined to be vacant; multiple units have been recommended for rehabilitation and some initial costs have been determined for restoration work. Other buildings have been recommended for demolition to allow for parking for multi-use restored buildings such as the Crescent complex at the corner of Rebecca and Jeanette and some green space parklets have also been recommended for parcels upon which buildings will be demolished.
The next steps will allow for residents to work with county and municipal officials on a public/private action team to move the project forward. Additional funding will be sought and further discussion held, including those with other stakeholders and corporations urging investment in the area.