Manchester Renaissance II: New Businesses and Residents
Landmarks Community Capital Corporation (LCC), a subsidiary of Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, is working in partnership with Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) to bring two classic Manchester storefronts back to life. The properties are part of the Manchester Renaissance II Program and are located at 1401 Columbus Avenue and 1109 Liverpool Street. Each will feature apartments above retail or office space—the specific use of each will be determined by the end buyer.
1401 Columbus Avenue is already under a sales agreement to a couple from the Mexican War Streets, Courtney Centner and Nathan Davidson, who plan to operate their graphic design business, Little Kelpie, out of the first-floor storefront. They were drawn to Manchester based on its proximity to town, where many of their clients are located, and the historic nature of the community.
The building was a natural fit, as Courtney remarked: “You absolutely cannot miss 1401 Columbus Avenue when you walk down the street. With its commanding position on the corner and so many of its original architectural details, we loved it immediately. The renovation has modernized the interior spaces, but left the historic character intact.”
Connecting the past to the present is a theme that MCC and PHLF have highlighted through their partnership. The building at 1401 Columbus used to house a neighborhood market. Courtney reflected upon the inspiration of working in a building that was originally constructed in 1887 by saying: “The storefront’s warm brick walls, huge windows, and soaring ceilings will be an inspiring backdrop for our work, and will connect us to the people who made their livelihoods there before us.”
Courtney and Nathan plan to close on the property later this summer, and complete the first-floor renovations to their specifications.
The Manchester Renaissance II program is being funded by PHLF’s affiliate, Landmarks Community Capital Corporation, Tri-State Capital Bank, PNC Bank, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Heinz Endowments, the Northside Leadership Conference and Rivers Casino. It is an appropriate way for PHLF to highlight a half-century of work in revitalizing Manchester that work will continue in partnership with MCC with a rehabilitation program aimed at the remaining vacant and blighted housing stock.