Saturday, June 22, 2013

Redeveloping Pittsburgh's East End.

Earlier in the week, a fellow forumer on posted photos from a walking tour he did of the East End neighborhood of East Liberty.  Years back, this was a run-down inner-city neighborhood with many derelict buildings and a high crime rate.  Roughly fifteen years ago, Nabisco shut down its East Liberty factory, leaving the structure to fall into disrepair.

Over the recent years, it has undergone a transformation.  Perhaps the first noticeable change was the conversion of the former Nabisco plant into a mixed use development known as Bakery Square, where Google eventually set up shop and is expanding.  Not far from there, a high rise projects housing community dating to the 1960s gave way to a two-story target.  Right in the heart of the neighborhood, work is getting underway to construct an inter-modal transit center right along the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway.

Also in the near future, we'll see the erection of Bakery Square 2.0, which will essentially be a continuation of the Bakery Square development complete with residential and office use as well as retail.  In addition to these developments, a slew of other residential and commercial projects are underway with many more still to come.

With all of this happening in the East Liberty neighborhood, I guess one could argue that it is only a matter of time before we see anything noticeable happen in the crime-ridden neighborhood of Homewood and the adjacent borough of Wilkinsburg.  In fact, a redevelopment project is about to get underway in Homewood that will make use of the neighborhood's old post office.  With respect to transit access that could spur growth, both are located along the East Busway. and both communities have put together a master plan outlining the access to bus-rapid transit to enhance development.

The discussion can be seen here: