Lawrenceville Corporation Awarded $200,000 to Implement Sidewalk Restoration Program with Support from State Senator James Ferlo
The Lawrenceville Corporation (LC), working in cooperation with the Office of State Senator Jim Ferlo, has been awarded a competitive grant from the Allegheny County Office of Economic Development to support the implementation of a Lawrenceville Sidewalk Restoration Program (LSRP).
The LSRP will provide matching funds of up to $10,000 per property to support sidewalk restoration in the neighborhood’s primary commercial corridors of Butler Street (between 33rd and 57th Streets) and Penn Avenue (between 40th and 45th Streets). Each property within the targeted area – regardless of zoning designation or use – is eligible for up to the maximum matching grant, and property owners are responsible for paying only 50% of the project costs, to be matched by a dollar-for-dollar grant up to a maximum of $10,000. “Lawrenceville property owners and businesses have been asking for this type of assistance for years,” explained Matthew Galluzzo, executive director of the Lawrenceville Corporation. “In response to those requests, we developed and capitalized this program. It is unlike any other in the region. It will enable individual Lawrenceville property owners to leverage significant public investment for infrastructure improvements that are often too expensive to undertake.”
Based off recommendations made in the 2009 Lola Plan, the LSRP is a targeted effort to ameliorate poor sidewalk conditions in Lawrenceville’s business districts. Approximately 21,060 linear feet (roughly 231,660 square feet) of sidewalk line the Butler and Penn Avenue corridors, and according to a recently updated sidewalk inventory completed by Community Technical Assistance Center of Pittsburgh, roughly 52% of the sidewalks are either immediate hazards or in need of major repair. “The need is certainly there,” said Galluzzo. “Both Butler Street and Penn Avenue are destination business districts and, yet, both suffer from decaying sidewalk infrastructure. This program represents a major opportunity to property owners, providing the necessary incentives to reestablish the walkability of the neighborhood.”
Senator Ferlo added, “For the past 25 years, I have supported business district development that reflects the principles Main Street and focuses on public/private partnerships. My hope is the sidewalk grant program strengthens the support for the Lawrenceville BID, a critical fundraising tool to improve and maintain the Butler Street corridor for years to come.”
The LC will administer the LSRP and Costa Construction will perform all sidewalk restoration work, which may include sidewalks, curbs, and ADA-compliant corners. Costa will liaise directly with each interested property owner to determine the appropriate project scope and provide cost estimates. Funds will be committed on a project-by-project basis following review and approval by the Lawrenceville Corporation.