URA announces $500,000 to fund neighborhood improvements

click to enlarge URA announces $500,000 to fund neighborhood improvements
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood is one of seven communities to benefit from the URA's recent funding release
The Urban Redevelopment Authority is set to release more than $500,000 in funding through a series of microgrants for neighborhood upgrades around the city.

Earmarked projects include a grocery store expansion in Larimer, a historic brewery restoration in Hazelwood, and a park and trail project in Brighton Heights.

The monies will be channeled through the URA’s Neighborhood Initiatives Fund, which distributes grants ranging from $20,000-100,000 for community improvement projects.

  • $100,000 awarded to the Community Empowerment Association for a community plaza project in Homewood

  • $63,040 to the Larimer Consensus Group/LA Grocery for a grocery store expansion in Larimer

  • $70,000 to Hazelwood Initiative for a public space in Hazelwood

  • $100,000 to the Progress Fund for Hazelwood Brewery Project in Hazelwood

  • $60,000 to the Afro-American Music Institute for a building expansion in Homewood

  • $50,000 to the Pittsburgh Glass Center for a facility expansion in Garfield

  • $84,305 to the Brighton Heights Citizens Federation for developing the St. John’s Green park and trail sites in Brighton Heights

The URA is a city of Pittsburgh agency charged with developing its economic development goals. The Neighborhood initiative was first launched in 2019 and has since distributed nearly $2 million through 37 projects in 25 neighborhoods, according to a press release.

The seven projects selected this year were approved by URA staff, according to the release, with input from representatives from the city planning and budget departments, as well as the mayor’s office.

URA officials say the awardees represent a diverse range of communities and projects.

“The 2022 NIF awardees represent a wide variety of projects in neighborhoods across the city,” says URA Executive Director Greg Flisram. “They include everything from green space to entrepreneurship to improved public spaces, and truly exemplify the spirit and goals of the program.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey lauded the funds as a channel for equity.

"When we invest in our communities, we are investing in the future of our great City,” Gainey says. “These grants will help us build pathways to prosperity and will help us make Pittsburgh into a city where everyone who lives here and works here can thrive."