ShareThis Page
News

Pittsburgh celebrates new beginning for Hill District public housing

Bob Bauder
| Monday, April 22, 2013, 1:33 p.m.
Kevin Cameron (left), 47, of Ohio Township, of Cameron Professional Management, talks to Howard Slaughter, Jr. of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency at the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of the Depression Era Addison Terrace housing projection in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013. Cameron's firm is in charge of community relations for the 400-unit project, which is estimated at $160 million.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Kevin Cameron (left), 47, of Ohio Township, of Cameron Professional Management, talks to Howard Slaughter, Jr. of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency at the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of the Depression Era Addison Terrace housing projection in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013. Cameron's firm is in charge of community relations for the 400-unit project, which is estimated at $160 million.
The Rev. Glenn G. Grayson of Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church blesses the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of the Depression-era Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
The Rev. Glenn G. Grayson of Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church blesses the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of the Depression-era Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.
The three-phase redevelopment of Addison Terrace in the Hill District will provide 400 townhouses.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
The three-phase redevelopment of Addison Terrace in the Hill District will provide 400 townhouses.
Councilman R. Daniel LaValle (from left), Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Howard Slaughter Jr. of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, HACP Executive Director Caster D. Binion and Keith B. Key, CEO/President of KBK Enterprises, toss the first dirt at the groundbreaking for the redevelopment of the Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Councilman R. Daniel LaValle (from left), Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Howard Slaughter Jr. of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, HACP Executive Director Caster D. Binion and Keith B. Key, CEO/President of KBK Enterprises, toss the first dirt at the groundbreaking for the redevelopment of the Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.
Keith B. Key, CEO and president of KBK Enterprises, speaks during the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of Addison Terrace in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013. Cameron's firm is in charge of community relations for the project.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Keith B. Key, CEO and president of KBK Enterprises, speaks during the groundbreaking of the redevelopment of Addison Terrace in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013. Cameron's firm is in charge of community relations for the project.
HACP Executive Director Caster D. Binion speaks during the groundbreaking of the reconstructed Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
HACP Executive Director Caster D. Binion speaks during the groundbreaking of the reconstructed Addison Terrace housing project in the Hill District on Monday, April 22, 2013.

A $160 million reconstruction of dilapidated public housing in the Hill District will be central to the neighborhood's rebirth, officials said on Monday.

“We believe it will have a boomerang effect down to Centre Avenue and will have an echoing effect all the way to Larimer and to Homewood,” said City Councilman Ricky Burgess, who chairs the Pittsburgh Housing Authority's board.

Burgess and other city and neighborhood leaders marked the start of renewal for the Depression-era Addison Terrace complex during a ceremony at Elmore Square, where work begins next month on 400 townhouses for families of various income levels.

The federally funded project will be built in three phases on property the authority owns at Elmore Square and Bentley Drive. It will replace Pittsburgh's first public housing project, which included 715 apartments built in the late 1930s and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

By the 1960s, what once was a center for Pittsburgh black culture fell victim to the effects of crime and urban blight.

“I can't wait to move into my new house,” said Dolores Bailey, 67, who has lived in Addison for nearly 30 years and is treasurer of the community Citizen's Council. “This is going to be a brand-new neighborhood.”

Developer Keith B. Key, owner of Columbus, Ohio-based KBK Enterprises and a former Hill resident, said he is working with the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority to provide additional housing on vacant lots between Addison and Centre Avenue.

Other construction in the neighborhood includes development of the former Civic Arena site, a Shop 'n Save grocery store and 26 apartments in the former Miller Elementary School.

“This is a chance to have an upgrade in housing for people who need it,” Key said.

A YMCA opened on Centre Avenue last year.

Demolition of Addison Terrace is scheduled to be completed in May, and construction of the $57 million first phase, with 186 units, would begin immediately, Key said.

Former Addison residents who moved elsewhere in the city could apply to move back in, said housing authority Executive Director Caster D. Binion.

Key said he hopes to include more than 50 percent minority- and female-owned companies as contractors on the project, and to provide job retraining opportunities to residents enrolled in the Garfield Jubilee construction training program.

“I'll get work experience and help rebuild the community,” said Amber Nails, 23, of Garfield. “It's a great thing to be part of something like this.”

Bob Bauder is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me